Joshua Green was a Maryland man who is accused of murdering his parents before shooting three people at the Royal Farms convenience store in Essex, killing two of them, including a woman who had just stopped at the convenience store to get a soda.
According to a police press release, Green, 27, of Maryland, shot and killed four people in all before killing himself.
The motive is not clear.
“For the family and friends of the victims, the employees of the Royal Farms Store, and our entire Baltimore County community our thoughts and prayers are with you,” said Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt. “The Baltimore County Police Department will remain steadfast in our support to those who were impacted by this tragedy.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Gunman Blocked the Car of Victim Alpha Smith & Shot Her, Police Say
Baltimore County police gave a timeline of the shootings. One victim was shot while she sat in a parked car at the convenience store.
“At 6:43 a.m., on March 28, 27-year-old Joshua Green shot and killed 62-year-old Alpha Smith in the parking lot of Royal Farms located in the 1600 block of Middleborough Road, 21221 while she sat in her parked car,” they said.
Colonel Andre Davis, the commanding officer of the Criminal Investigation Bureau, said officers were dispatched to Royal Farms for a shooting. The shooter blocked in a car that was on the parking lot, exited his car, walked to the window of the car he blocked in, and then shot and killed Smith.
There is a GoFundMe account to help Alpha Smith’s Family pay for her funeral expenses. It reads,
On March 28, 2021, my family was awoken by the news that our beloved mother, grandmother, niece, cousin, and friend, Alpha Smith, had tragically been in the wrong place at the wrong time and senselessly killed. She stopped to get a soda from a gas station near her home, en route to work, and before she could even get out of her car, she was gunned down. Such a beautiful being, gone in an instant.
Those that had the pleasure of ever being in Alpha’s presence, know that she was the epitome of a kind spirit. Her smile usually greeted you before her words. She was a faithful and dedicated mother who took so much pride in raising her children. She was a genuine person. She loved boldly, and never complained. If she cared for you, you knew it, without question. She would go out her way, and give her last, to help anyone. This is such a major loss for our family.
Even more so for her children, her son and two daughters. Her oldest daughter, has some special needs, and her youngest daughter (still in elementary school) who she adopted as a baby, still need to be cared for. Alpha had JUST retired from the state, so we aren’t sure about insurance yet, but we need to make sure the housing and care for her children isn’t disrupted. Any contribution is greatly appreciated.
God bless you all, please keep our family in your prayers, and make sure to hug your loved ones a little tighter, as tomorrow isn’t promised. Thank you in advance, from Alpha’s family. This is THE ONLY authorized GoFundMe for her arrangements and children.
A woman who donated for Smith’s funeral expenses wrote, “Alpha was one of the most hardworking, giving and loving person I’ve ever met. Her smile and friendliness was infectious. She will always be family to me.”
2. Green Shot a Man by the Cash Register & Targeted an Employee, According to Police
— WJZ | CBS Baltimore (@wjz) March 29, 2021
The gunman then headed inside the store.
“He then walked inside the store and killed 43-year-old Silvesta Daye. A 22-year-old man was also shot and survived. He was transported to a local hospital and is in stable condition,” the police news release said.
Daye left behind two children. His Facebook page said he was self-employed, Self-Employed, went to Chesapeake High School (Baltimore County), and lived in Baltimore.
In November, Daye wrote on his Facebook page,
Assalamualaikum to all my brothers and sister I recall when I had hair my father telling me about haircuts being the same when he was young it made me realize that styles traditions and sometimes events occur in Cycles this is evident with the George Floyd incident it was the same as the Chrispus Attucks ,where a civilian was murdered by The Brute strength of the oppressor does this mean we should prepare for war because of those events triggered a civil war only time can tell MFL
The release adds, “A preliminary investigation reveals 27-year-old Joshua Green shot three people at the Royal Farms along Middleborough Road in Essex just before 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning. Two victims were pronounced deceased on the scene and one is recovering at a local hospital.”
He then walked into the store near the cashier and shot the second deceased victim “as he stood there.” At that point, he “turned his attention to an employee who worked in the Royal Farms store and shot and wounded that employee,” who is in stable condition.
3. Green, Who Had No Prior Criminal History, Shot Himself With a Legally Purchased Firearm, Police Say
Baltimore County homicide detectives believe 27-year-old Joshua Green was acting alone but haven’t established a possible motive for the shooting spree.
— WOWT 6 News (@WOWT6News) March 29, 2021
The police news release says that Green took his own life. Shortly thereafter, a dispatch call came in for an apartment fire. The apartment was fully engulfed in flames and there was a deceased male in the parking lot suffering from a gunshot wound, Davis said. “This male was later identified as our shooter.”
“The suspect then drove home to the 1400 block of Shadetree Road, 21221 and fatally shot himself,” the release says.
“The shooter had no criminal contacts with police; and the firearm the shooter possessed was legally purchased.”
According to police, Green also set his apartment on fire. “The suspect left the store and returned home where he set his apartment on fire. Police later found him outside his apartment complex deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” police wrote. Police said the gun was registered to Green.
4. Police Later Discovered Green’s Parents Deceased at Their Home
BREAKING: @BaltCoPolice say Joshua Green, 27, fatally shot two people at Royal Farms in Essex before starting a fire at his apartment and turning the gun on himself. Police say they later found his parents shot and killed in their home in Phoenix. @wbaltv11 pic.twitter.com/ltxyO5eALa
— Tre Ward (@TreWardWBAL) March 29, 2021
The string of tragedies was not yet over.
Officers went to the parents’ home to notify them of the gunman’s death. That’s where they found the parents’ bodies in the garage of their home suffering from gunshot wounds, said Davis.
“At 3:21 p.m., detectives found 58-year-old Douglas Green and 62-year-old Olivia Green deceased inside their home in the 14000 block of Manor Road, 21013,” the release says.
It’s believed that the parent murders were the first.
“According to investigators, the genesis of this tragic chain of events actually started in the early morning hours at the Manor Road address,” wrote police.
An earlier release noted, “Detectives traveled to the home of the suspect’s parents where they discovered the two deceased; both individuals appeared to have been shot. Detectives say all three incidents are connected and they are not searching for any additional suspects in connection to these three incidents.”
5. The Motive Is Under Investigation
Baltimore Co. Police addressing Sunday’s triple shooting at a Royal Farms in Essex. The suspect, 27-year-old Joshua Green, also shot his parents inside their Baldwin, MD home. Police say he then set his apartment on fire and shot himself. @wjz pic.twitter.com/qXbxhZPs6n
— Rachel Menitoff (@RachelMenitoff) March 29, 2021
Authorities said the motive is not yet clear.
In a news conference, Hyatt called it a “horrific and sickening life, which changed the lives of many people, including some who were lost.” She said the investigation was in its preliminary stages. “All of us have more questions than answers about the questions that occurred yesterday. We know that four innocent people lost their lives and one person sustained serious injuries.”
Online records show that the father also had lived in San Diego and there is also a daughter in the family. No obvious social media accounts were found for the family members.
Royal Farms’ website describes the chain as “Your go-to place day or night for breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, gasoline and diesel fuel, and all the things you need! Dine in our seating area or take out.”