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Four dead in apparent triple murder-suicide in Joppatowne, including teenager

Joppatowne shooting
Joppatowne shooting
Posted at 12:47 PM, Aug 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-31 15:55:01-04

JOPPATOWNE, Md. — The Harford County Sheriff's Department is investigating an apparent murder-suicide that occurred Saturday morning.

Police say that around 11:18 a.m., officers responded to an active shooting inside an apartment in the 300 block of Trimble Road.

Two minutes later, deputies arrived on the scene and entered the apartment, where they found four victims suffering from gunshot wounds.

Three of the victims, all adults, were pronounced dead at the scene.

A 17-year-old male was taken to Shock Trauma, where he later died from his injuries.

According to police, the suspect, Devin Brown, 34, and his mother, Sherlyn Pitts, 56, arrived at the home to visit Brown's aunt, Sheena Smother, 38, and her 17-year-old son.

During the visit, police believe Brown pulled out a gun and shot the three family members before turning the gun on himself.

"A single individual, a male, exited, I don't know if he said exited the vehicle, but out approaching the apartment building with a handgun, and as he entered the apartment, heard multiple shots," Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said.

Stacey Anderson says she found out about the deaths Saturday evening after she returned from the vet's office. A fellow church member told her more details Sunday morning when their identities were revealed. She says the entire church is grieving their losses.

"It was really bad in church today; everybody took it really hard," Anderson said. "The whole congregation went up to the pulpit and said a special prayer for the family and everyone involved."

Neighbors showed support for the victims by laying flowers outside the apartment doors.

"I'm praying for the family. I can't imagine what they are going through, and the church is praying for them," Anderson said.

Sheriff Gahler says detectives are now searching for answers about what may have led up to the shooting.

"We do not have a motive that's part of the investigation, our thoughts and prayers go out to those families that are going to be impacted in these horrific losses," Sheriff Gahler said.

The family has since created a GoFundMe and so far, it has raised more than $9,000.

To donate,click here.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the sheriff's department at 443-567-7201.