4 killed in shooting at Joppatowne apartment, police say

Published 8/26/2023 3:15 p.m. EDT, Updated 8/27/2023 1:09 p.m. EDT

Baltimore Police crime scene tape remains on the scene after a vehicle exploded inside a five-story parking garage in Baltimore’s Fells Point neighborhood on 7/27/22.  Two people are being treated for injuries, fire officials said Wednesday afternoon.

Four people were killed Saturday morning in a shooting at an apartment building in Joppatowne in what police are investigating as a potential murder-suicide, Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said.

The sheriff’s office identified the victims Sunday as Sherlyn Ann Pitts, 65; Sheena Yvonne Smothers, 38; and a 17-year-old boy. The suspected shooter was Devin Brown, 34, who also died.

A caller told authorities they saw an individual go into an apartment building armed with a handgun and then heard multiple shots, Gahler said during an afternoon media briefing at Joppatowne High School.

Deputies arrived on the scene in the 300 block of Trimble Road within two minutes of when the shooting was reported at 11:18 a.m., Gahler said.

Three victims were reported dead at the scene. One man was transported to a nearby medical facility, but he also died, according to Gahler.

Investigators believe the shooting was isolated to one apartment in the building.

Homicide detectives believe Brown may have taken his own life, Gahler said. They are also conducting an “extensive” canvass of the area for evidence and witnesses, he added.

In an earlier tweet, the sheriff’s office said there is no threat to the community, and a reunification center was established at Good Shepherd Church at 622 Joppa Farm Road for any witnesses or family members involved.

Authorities are looking to speak with witnesses who might have knowledge about how or why the shooting occurred because they “do not have a motive” at this time, Gahler said.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to those families that are going to be impacted in these horrific losses. Another sad day, and I hate to stand before you to talk about another tragic situation and this much loss of life,” Gahler said.

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