An alleged disgruntled bartender entered a Bowie restaurant early Sunday morning and opened fire, killing three of his co-workers.
The carnage unfolded around 2:15 a.m. Sunday inside the Blue Sunday Bar and Grill in the Hilltop North Shopping Center along Race Track Road – a strip mall with stores including a 7-Eleven, Jersey Mike’s and Outback Steakhouse. By the time police arrived, two employees were dead, a third was taken to the hospital where they later died too.
On Monday, police identified the three victims as Sherwood Morgan, 46, of Mitchellville, Jin Chen, 27, of Laruel, and Xue Zou, 28, also of Laurel. Police say Morgan was one of the managers at the restaurant while Chen and Zou were co-owners of the buisiness.
“I could never step foot in there again,” a female bartender stated Sunday evening as she looked at the restaurant in shock. “I don’t want to believe this really happened. No one deserved this.”
Within hours of arriving at the restaurant, Prince George’s County Police identified Karlief Moye, 40, as the sole killer.
In a press conference Monday, Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski says the shooting was the result of an ongoing workplace conflict.
Stawinski called the shooting a “pointless crime.”
You can see the full press conference here:
Around 11:30 a.m. Sunday, a swarm of officers surrounded Moye’s Silver Spring home, nestled along the 1100 block of La Grande Road.
Police spotted Moye running towards a wooded area where he shot himself twice. Paramedics transported him to the hospital where he is recovering. Sources tell ABC7 that they believe Moye will survive.
Residents along La Grande Road were stunned to watch the manhunt unfold within the peaceful middle class neighborhood, located near the Food and Drug Administration’s White Oak campus.
“I saw maybe four or five police officers with rifles out,” said Craig Cooper, a husband with two sons, ages three and four. “You would never expect something like that from your neighbor.”
Most neighbors described Moye as a quiet guy who’d waive his hand and say, ‘hello.’ He lived with a female relative and her teenage daughter. Moye, one neighbor said, was known for fixing-up cars and shoveling the sidewalk in front of an elderly couple’s home.
Last week, Moye posted an explicit message on his Facebook Page. Was he laying the foundation for Sunday’s killings? Police have not said. The message, which contains explicit language, reads:
“Say word? “All the free advise I gave you and you want to hit me with a fee for consultation. This is what the world is coming too? F**k the world, don’t ask me for sh*t!”
The Blue Sunday Bar and Grill was a brand new establishment, which held its grand opening celebration last Sunday – a week before the killings. The restaurant, which includes a fully renovated dining room area and lounge-like bar, served Asian-fusion cuisine.
By Sunday evening, a makeshift memorial consisting of a white plastic sheet with written notes, colorful balloons, candles and bouquets of flowers, took shape in front of the restaurant. A steady flow of customers and employees drove by, some gawking, but most paying tribute to the three lives lost.
“This is all too close to home,” Bowie resident Fiona Moodie said. “They were in the process of redecorating and hiring employees for months and finally got it opened. For this to happen only a few weeks after they opened their restaurant, it’s just tragic.”
Padlocks and evidence tape secure the front, side and rear door, preserving the integrity of the crime scene. A number of interior and exterior security cameras were visible. Police say this video led to the quick arrest of Moye.
A number of employees, family, and friends had only good things to say about Sherwood Morgan.
“He was a great person, very-very nice, very polite, he was always in a good mood, always had a smile on his face,” Morgan’s co-worker said. “He will be missed dearly.”
Source: ABC News