Police said Joshua Green, 27, is responsible for the shootings. Green died by suicide in an Essex apartment complex parking lot Sunday.
Just before 7 a.m., county police responded to a Royal Farms convenience store and gas station in Essex. There, three people had been shot, two of whom died, said spokesman Det. Robert Reason. One of those killed was a customer sitting inside a parked car, witnesses said.
In a news release issued late Sunday, police said the other individual is recovering at a local hospital.
Detectives said Green then left the store and returned to his apartment in the Hartland Ridge apartment complex and set it on fire. About 15 minutes after the shooting, police responded to the complex, less than a mile away from the gas station, and found Green in the parking lot and said he had shot himself.
Then, late Sunday afternoon, police said detectives traveled to Green’s parents’ home in Baldwin, near the intersection of Manor and Eland roads, and they found two bodies. Both appeared to have been shot, police said.
Amid intense thunderstorms, investigators searched the property, crowding inside the home’s garage.
A neighbor said they hadn’t heard anything unusual, but declined to comment further.
By 6:40 p.m., investigators had pulled out of the driveway of the quaint brick home with red shutters.
Police announced late Sunday that they were not searching for any additional suspects and said they believed all three incidents were connected.
On Sunday morning, employees of the Royal Farms gathered outside the store’s back entrance along Back River Neck Road as rain poured beside them. Out front, police clustered around a parked car, covered with a sheet and tent, where one body was found. The other was located inside the store.
Across the street, locals Jodie Oxenrider, 33, and Suzanne Hamilton, 36, anxiously scanned the scene. They called a Royal Farms employee they knew, desperate to hear who had been shot and who had survived.
“All of us know the people in here,” Hamilton said. “It’s all the same employees all the time.”
Oxenrider said she lives in the Hartland Ridge complex where the fire took place, and she heard fire alarms and sirens after she woke up around 6 a.m. She decided to walk to the Royal Farms nearby to buy a pack of cigarettes. When she got there, the store was roped off with caution tape and police vehicles filled the parking lot.
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“It’s crazy because my daughter was asleep when I woke up, and I was going to come up here while she was asleep,” Oxenrider said. “I’m so glad I [waited] because I would have been in there.”
Brandon Thompson, 31, lives in the apartment complex across from the Royal Farms.
He said he saw his neighbor warming up her car to leave for work before driving to the convenience store.
That’s when Thompson heard the shots and peered out his upstairs window at the scene. Thompson said he saw a man exit the store and toss a gun aside, before picking it up again and shooting his neighbor, who was parked in front of the store.