ByMEREDITH DELISO via
Officers seeking a suspect in a fatal shooting at a Maryland gas station made a “surprising discovery” when they found the decomposing body of a likely pregnant woman at the man’s apartment, police said.
Torrey Moore, 31, of Silver Spring, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder on Friday for allegedly killing an employee at the Dash In Convenience Store in Silver Spring during an altercation the previous day, Montgomery County police said.
The investigation of the gas station shooting led detectives to an apartment complex across the street, where they executed a search warrant in Moore’s apartment, police said.
“When SWAT made entry, and after arresting Moore, they discovered a deceased female, believed to be an adult, on the floor in the apartment in an advanced stage of decomposition,” Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones told reporters during a press briefing Friday.
Moore allegedly told police that he was in a relationship with the woman and that she was eight months pregnant at the time of her death. He also allegedly said that “there had been some type of fight between the two about one month prior that led to the victim becoming deceased prior to today,” Jones said.
Police are waiting for the medical examiner to determine the cause and manner of death, to confirm whether the woman was pregnant and how far along and to verify the woman’s identity, Jones said. That process could take several days, he said.
Police were not aware of anything amiss at that apartment, or of any missing persons from that location, the chief said.
“This is very new to us, again a surprising discovery upon our entry this morning. So we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Jones said Friday. “We’re a little bit amazed that we did not receive any calls, none that we have seen, thus far, that would have given us any indication that something was occurring within that apartment.”
“We’re very concerned about what has been occurring between these two,” he said.
Jones said Moore was captured on footage leaving the gas station following the shooting Thursday afternoon and heading toward the apartment complex across the street. Detectives were able to positively identify him from several witnesses, he said, and store employees said Moore was a “problem customer” at that location.
Moore is alleged to have shot Ayalew Wondimu, 61, of Silver Spring, following a dispute at the gas station. The footage captured Moore grab a bottle of iced tea and bring it to the counter, where the altercation occurred, according to Jones.
“We did observe Moore pick up items from in front of the counter and began throwing them at the clerk,” Jones said.
Wondimu then picked up a metal pole behind the counter and attempted to strike Moore, who was on the other side of the counter, Jones said.
“Moore stepped back and for reasons unknown he retrieved a silver handgun from his vest pocket and he shot Wondimu at a point-blank range,” Jones said.
Moore allegedly then reached over the counter and fired again multiple times, before grabbing the iced tea bottle and leaving the store, said Jones, who called the incident “very troubling.”
Wondimu suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and was pronounced dead at the scene, Jones said.
Moore was charged with first-degree murder and possession of a firearm while committing a felony and is being held on no bail. He is scheduled to appear in court on Monday. It is unclear if he has an attorney.
Additional charges could be likely depending on the medical examiner’s determination of the cause and manner of death of the woman found in his apartment, police said.