Royal Farms ‘Devastated’ By Shooting At Essex Store; State Police Say Alleged Gunman’s Background Check Revealed No Issues

Tina Marie Rund-McGraw is still stunned by the loss of her friend Alpha Smith, known by many close to her as ‘Alfie.’

Video Transcript

NICOLE BAKER: Shooting spree investigation. Loved ones remember the lives lost in Baltimore County as the questions persist about the gunman. Thanks for joining us here at 5:00. I'm Nicole Baker.

RICK RITTER: And I'm Rick Ritter. Tonight, friends and family still trying to understand what led a man to open fire on innocent victims at a Royal Farm store in Essex.

NICOLE BAKER: We are learning much more about the background check that allowed that accused gunman to legally get the weapon that he used. He later took his own life.

RICK RITTER: And WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren live on the scene in Baltimore County tonight with new reaction to this awful story. Mike.

MIKE HELLGREN: Rick, Nicole. The store here remains closed. There's a growing memorial to the victims outside. And we just received a new statement from Royal Farms. They say they're devastated by what happened, and they're sending their deepest sympathies to the loved ones of the victims. They say they are cooperating with law enforcement.

TINA MARIE RUND-MCGRAW: It hurts because no one-- she was, like, right there and her life ended.

MIKE HELLGREN: Tina Marie Rund-McGraw is still stunned by the loss of her friend Alfie Smith.

TINA MARIE RUND-MCGRAW: She will truly be missed, and I love her. She was like a sister to me, not just a co-worker but a sister.

MIKE HELLGREN: The two worked at Food Lion together. Early Sunday morning, Smith stopped at the Royal Farms nearby in Essex to get a soda before her shift when police say 27-year-old Joshua Green, a man she'd never met, blocked in her car and shot her to death.

There was no way out for her?

TINA MARIE RUND-MCGRAW: No.

- Is the woman shot in the vehicle?

MIKE HELLGREN: Police say Green then shot and killed Sylvesta Daye, Jr., a customer at the store, and wounded employee Joshua Robinson.

- I have two individuals shot in the Farms store-- three people shot.

MIKE HELLGREN: This is video WJZ obtained from another customer who came upon the scene minutes later.

- He's shot in the head. This lady right here dead too. Oh, my God.

MIKE HELLGREN: Police don't yet have a motive, but a woman who says she's Green's sister wrote on Facebook, "The unthinkable had occurred. Something so horrific that my mind wouldn't believe it, but something I knew deep down in my heart was very much a possibility. Josh struggled with his mental health for many years."

Green killed his parents, Douglas and Olivia, and killed himself, according to Baltimore County Police, who also say Green legally purchased the gun used last year. Maryland State Police tell WJZ a thorough background investigation was conducted and nothing was found prohibiting Joshua Green from the legal purchase of a regulated firearm under Maryland law.

TINA MARIE RUND-MCGRAW: I have to ride by here every day to go to work. And to walk in there or not see her face, no, it's not fair.

MIKE HELLGREN: Just an awful tragedy. And you're looking, live, at the doors to this Royal Farms, and it's temporarily closed. This investigation is still ongoing. And a GoFundMe for Alpha Smith's funeral expenses and for her family has now raised more than $12,000. Reporting live in Essex, Mike Hellgren, WJZ.