Girlfriend: Shooter prone to violence before deadly rampage
The girlfriend of a woman who gunned down three co-workers at a Maryland warehouse told investigators her companion was prone to violent outbursts, heard voices in her head and had threatened her with a gun before September’s rampage, according to a police report obtained by The Associated Press.
Snochia Moseley, 26, legally purchased the handgun she used to fatally shoot three people and wound three others before killing herself at a Rite Aid drugstore distribution center in Harford County, authorities said.
Her girlfriend, 34-year-old Sharon Forrest, told sheriff’s office detectives she knew Moseley had a gun in their Baltimore County apartment but hadn’t seen it since Moseley “pulled it on her” a few months before the Sept. 20 warehouse shooting. The report doesn’t say whether she reported that incident to authorities.
“Forrest advised that Moseley was a kind person until she was manic then she was physically and emotionally violent,” says the report, which the sheriff’s office released Tuesday in response to a public records request.
Maj. William Davis, of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, said in September that Moseley had been diagnosed with acute schizophrenia, The Baltimore Sun reported. But when she filled out the paperwork for buying a handgun, Moseley answered “no” to questions about whether she had been diagnosed with a mental illness, Davis said.
Forrest said Moseley had been depressed due to money problems and didn’t appear to be taking medication for her mental illness.
“Forrest advised that she thought sometimes that Moseley may have wanted to kill herself but did not believe that Moseley could kill anyone else,” the report says.
However, Forrest also told detectives Moseley had sent her a text message “talking about getting a machete to cut up people.”
“Forrest stated that (Moseley) talked open ended like that a lot and she did not believe her when she did,” the report adds.
In March, Moseley bought the 9 mm Glock she used in the shooting. A mental illness doesn’t disqualify someone from legally purchasing a gun in Maryland. Buyers can’t pass a background check if they were either involuntarily committed for any period of time or voluntarily admitted to a psychiatric facility for at least 30 consecutive days.
Forrest said Moseley heard voices in her head “which usually freaked her out.” It’s not clear from the report whether that response to the voices referred to Moseley or Forrest.
Forrest killed herself several weeks after the warehouse shooting, according to a Baltimore County Police Department report. Forrest’s Oct. 31 death was caused by asphyxia and was ruled a suicide, said Bruce Goldfarb, spokesman for the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
A witness told police Forrest was getting evicted from her apartment and had seemed “unstable at times” since her girlfriend’s death. Text messages on Forrest’s cellphone appeared to be addressed to her deceased girlfriend and said “she was going to be with her soon,” the report says.
Forrest told detectives that she wished she had been awake when Moseley returned home from work to retrieve her gun on the morning of the shooting, “so she could have stopped her.” After she woke up and saw TV news reports on the shooting, she called Moseley but immediately suspected she was responsible for the bloodshed.
“Forrest said she went to the closet to check for Moseley’s gun, found the empty case, and Forrest said she just knew Moseley was involved with the emergency,” the report says.
Killed in the shooting were Brindra Giri, 41, of Baltimore; Hayleen Reyes, 21, of Baltimore; and Sunday Aguda, 45, of Dundalk.
Giri, a mother of two, had recently moved to the U.S. from her homeland of Nepal to join her husband. Aguda, a native of Nigeria, had married his wife in February and had been working at the facility for only three weeks, according to the Sun. Reyes had moved to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic five months before the shooting and had lived with her father and her 1-year-old daughter, the newspaper reported.
Forrest said she didn’t notice anything unusual about Moseley’s behavior in the days before the shooting, but she recalled Moseley saying something to herself just before they went to bed on the night before the shooting.
“Forrest asked what she was saying and Moseley responded, ‘Just saying my last prayer.’ Forrest believed Moseley meant for the day, but now believed she may have meant for good,” the report says.
Moseley, a temporary employee who had worked at the Rite Aid facility for just over two weeks, arrived at work at 6:30 a.m. on the morning of the shooting. Warehouse surveillance video shows her leaving at 7:20 a.m. before returning and re-entering the building at 8:53 a.m. The gunfire erupted at 9:07 a.m., sending dozens of workers running.
Forrest woke up less than an hour later and saw a text message Moseley sent just before the shooting. It told her she could pick up her car at the warehouse facility.