A Baltimore County man shot and killed his wife inside their Woodstock home Wednesday before driving his children to an Anne Arundel County restaurant, leaving them there and killing himself inside his car nearby, authorities said.
Police said Harry Anthony Rey, 35, shot his wife, Amber Lynne Cox, 28, inside their mobile home, in a rural area near the border of Baltimore and Howard counties. The couple's children were home at the time of the shooting, police said.
"It's just a tragedy what happened," said Cox's grandmother, Barbara Cox, in a brief interview Thursday. "She was just a terrific mom. She loved those boys with her heart and soul."
After shooting Cox at least once, police said, Rey drove 20 miles south and dropped the three boys — 7-year-old twins and a 6-year-old — off with people at a Red Lobster restaurant in Hanover, just outside the Arundel Mills shopping mall. Concerned, the people inside the restaurant called police. Officers determined that the man's wife might have been in danger and notified Baltimore County police.
Anne Arundel police later located Rey, about four miles east of the restaurant, inside his truck suffering from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
His truck was parked in the 7600 block of Sandy Farm Road, a remote, heavily wooded area of Severn off Telegraph Road. Only one house can be seen from the street, with others set far back on long dirt driveways.
Baltimore County police found Cox dead in the couple's home about 6 p.m. Wednesday.
"What we believe right now is that everyone was home, the man shot the victim, drove the children in his truck to Arundel Mills, left the children inside the Red Lobster and then drove to Sandy Farm Road and shot himself," A Baltimore County police spokesman, Cpl. Shawn Vinson, said in an email to The Baltimore Sun.
Authorities are awaiting the results of autopsies for Cox and Rey. Police have not released a motive in the killing.
Neighbors at the Granite Mobile Home Park said that Baltimore County police were called twice Tuesday to the couple's home in the 10600 block of Davis Avenue.
Vinson said Thursday he did not have details of those calls. He said investigators were looking into previous calls to determine if there was a history of domestic violence.
Neighbor Robert Brill said he heard the couple "yelling and screaming at each other" on Tuesday.
Brill said Cox had told him her marriage "had issues, but she wanted to work it out."
Cheryl Cain, a Florida resident who is visiting a friend at the mobile home park, said she also heard the couple arguing Tuesday.
"She told me she that she wanted to make it work," Cain said of Cox.
Barbara Cox said she was unaware of any physical violence between her granddaughter and Rey.
Cox said the couple had been in a relationship for about 10 years, and married between seven and eight years.
Cox said her granddaughter grew up in Crownsville and graduated from Annapolis High School. Amber Cox was working for the Department of Social Services in Howard County, supporting her family, her grandmother said.
She said her granddaughter adored her three sons, who are now with Cox's family.
"They're doing good," but struggling to comprehend what happened, she said of the children. "The youngest, he kept saying the doctor would take the bullet out of Mommy's head and she would be OK."
The same boy, she said, reached for a picture of his mother on a shelf at Cox's home Thursday and has held on to it for comfort.
Cox herself said she still was processing what happened and remained in shock.
"I didn't know what to say to my own daughter," she said.
News has spread to family out of state. All day, family members have called in disbelief after reading news articles online about the shooting, Cox said.
Cox said the family was in the process of making funeral arrangements.
Rey's family did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.
Baltimore Sun Media Group reporter Phil Davis contributed to this article.