ESSEX, Md. (WJZ) — Tina Marie Rund-McGraw is still stunned by the loss of her friend Alpha Smith, known by many close to her as ‘Alfie.’
“It hurts because she was right there, and her life ended for no reason. She shouldn’t have died,” she told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren. “I loved her. She was like a sister. Not just a co-worker to me but a sister. She’d give you the shirt off her back, and I just can’t believe she’s gone.”READ MORE: Martinez Comes Off COVID List, Hits 3 HRs As Red Sox Top O's
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) March 30, 2021
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 said 27-year-old gunman Joshua Green—a man she had never met—blocked in her car and shot her to death.
Police said Green then shot and killed Silvesta Daye, Junior, a customer at the store, and wounded employee Joshua Robinson.
On Tuesday, Royal Farms issued a new statement to WJZ:
“We are devastated by the events that transpired at our location in Essex, Maryland on Sunday. We send our deepest sympathies to the loved ones of the victims and pray for a speedy recovery for those who were injured during the incident. We will continue to cooperate with law enforcement in their investigation of this senseless shooting.”
Green killed his parents, Douglas and Olivia, and killed himself according to Baltimore County police.
Police also said Green legally purchased the gun used last year.READ MORE: 22-Year-Old Man Dies After Being Shot In Head, Chest In NE Baltimore
Maryland State Police told 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.”
A co-worker of Douglas Green wrote Hellgren the following statement:
“What a tragedy to lose a friend and co-worker Doug Green who had a remarkable aptitude for engineering—a person who would come to your aid without question. I’m so proud of had the chance to work with him. I will miss him greatly. My heart goes out to the families that have been affected by the tragedy. And I pray for a change in our society.“
Police don’t yet have a motive.
A woman who said she is Green’s sister wrote on Facebook Monday:
“I will miss you so much Mom, Dad, and Josh. Yesterday afternoon, I received the news from a friend in Maryland that 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, and our relationship was strained and distant due to this. What transpired yesterday was unthinkable, violent, and senseless. For reasons I will never understand, Josh committed 4 murders, two of which were random, injured one more person, set an apartment on fire, and then took his own life. My heart is with the victims families…the grief so far has been nearly unbearable. My heart is with you, everyone affected, as we pick up the pieces to this nightmare. I pray for continued healing peace and closure to the victims families…”
A GoFundMe for victim Alpha Smith’s funeral expenses and to help her family has now raised more than $13,000–above its original $10,000 goal.
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) March 29, 2021
Tina Marie Rund-McGraw is just trying to understand how a routine trip to the store ended up costing Smith her life.MORE NEWS: Maryland Weather: Most Of The Region Could See Severe Storm Sunday Evening
“I have to ride by here every day to go to work—and to walk in there and not see her face, no, it’s not fair. It’s not right, and I’m going to miss her. She was my sister and my heart and she always will be. I’ll never forget her.”