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Officials: Suspect in Maryland Rite Aid shooting had mental illness

By Lillian Reed and Yvonne Wenger • Sep 21, 2018 at 9:56 PM

BALTIMORE — Snochia Moseley, 26, had a history of mental illness and had become increasingly agitated in the weeks before she opened fire on her coworkers at a Rite Aid distribution center near Aberdeen, police said Friday.

Law enforcement described Friday a more vivid scene of the shooting at the Harford County facility and released the identities of the six victims, three of whom died in the attack. Moseley shot herself before police arrived and was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital, where she later died.

Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said Moseley arrived at 6:30 a.m. for her shift at a Rite Aid distribution center, where she had been working for about two weeks. The center had 65 employees working Thursday morning, Gahler said.

For unknown reasons, Moseley left the building and returned to her home in White Marsh, where she retrieved a firearm, and returned to the distribution center. Around 9:05 a.m., Moseley exited the warehouse, pulled her hood and shirt over her head, and started shooting, Gahler said.

The three people who were fatally shot were identified as Sunday Aguda, a 45-year-old man from Baltimore County; Brindra Giri, a 41-year-old woman from Baltimore County; and Hayleen Reyes, a 21-year-old woman from Baltimore City.

Hassan Mitchell, a 19-year-old man from Harford County; Wilfredo Villegas, a 45-year-old man from Montgomery County; and Purna Acharya, a 45-year-old man from New York, were injured in the shooting, officials said.

Gregory Langdon, of Joppa, was one of the 65 people working at the Rite Aid warehouse at the time of the shooting Thursday. He was gathering tools to do maintenance work on the warehouse dock doors when Moseley opened fire.

“Within two minutes, we heard gunshots,” said Langdon, a former pastor and volunteer firefighter who works as a subcontractor at Rite Aid for monthly preventative maintenance.

“I got out of truck … . I grabbed my phone and then I heard a second set of shots and I was already dialing 911,” he said.

Langdon said he told the dispatcher there was an active shooter as he walked from the back of the parking lot to the front gate. There, he saw about five people, including a young man who was shouting about being shot in the leg as the men and women sought shelter inside Zenith Global Logistics, a warehouse adjoining Rite Aid.

While talking to a 911 dispatcher, Langdon said he used his ID badge to let emergency responders into the parking lot.

“She said, ‘How many shots were fired?’ I said eight, maybe 10, that I had heard.” Langdon said he never saw the shooter. But if it weren’t for the passing rain, he believes he could have been in the line of fire.

Police arrived within five minutes of the 911 call, by which time Moseley had already shot herself, Gahler said.

Officials did not offer a possible motive for the shooting Friday morning, but said it appeared Moseley targeted her victims. A set of handcuffs and pepper spray were found on her body, police said.

“Frankly, when someone does something like this, such violence against other human beings, we’re never going to make sense of it or understand it fully,” Gahler said.

In the weeks before the shooting, Moseley, who had been diagnosed with a mental illness in 2016, had become increasingly agitated, Gahler said. He declined to elaborate on the nature of Moseley’s agitation, but said friends and family had been worried for her well being.

Barry Glassman, Harford County executive, said “At some point the shooter yesterday developed into a ‘fairly acute schizophrenia,’ a serious problem and yet it’s not flagged or captured by the system and she’s able to have that firearm.” A spokeswoman for Glassman later said that while he had been briefed on the investigation, the county executive was not certain about Moseley’s precise diagnosis.

“It was his understanding from the briefing that she had been diagnosed with something like schizophrenia,” spokeswoman Cindy Mumby said.

The gun used in the shooting, a 9 mm Glock handgun, was legally registered and owned by Moseley. Maryland gun laws exclude ownership of a firearm for people with both a history of mental illness and a known propensity for violence against his or herself or others, police said.

At one time, Moseley had worked as a security guard and had a valid Maryland handgun permit that expired in May. She was hired to non-security position by Rite Aid distribution center as part of upstaffing for the holiday season, police said.

It was not clear whether Moseley was having problems at work, police said. On Wednesday, Moseley reportedly cut a line to enter the building, leading to a disagreement with coworkers, Gahler said. However, police did not believe the incident was necessarily related to Thursday’s shooting.

Work continued quietly Friday at the Perryman business park tucked into a working class neighborhood. A line of big rigs waited at the entrance to be screened for into entry into the Clorox Company.

Outside Maines Paper and Food Service, trucks sat idly. Workers at Zenith took smoke breaks outside the warehouse, but declined to talk to a reporter about Thursday’s events. A few people swiped badges to get into the Rite Aid parking lot, but little activity could be seen from the parking lot.

The Aberdeen area shootings come just 11 months after three co-workers were killed at a kitchen countertop company in Edgewood, less than 10 miles away.

Glassman said the county plans to partner with the University of Maryland to open a 24-hour mental health crisis center for the community.


(The Baltimore Sun’s Ian Duncan, Jean Marbella, Jonathan M. Pitts, Jessica Anderson, Colin Campbell, Catherine Rentz, Talia Richman, Liz Bowie, Christina Tkacik and Pamela Wood, and Baltimore Sun Media Group reporters Ted Hendricks and Erika Butler contributed to this article.)


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