Police said that a custodian for the church discovered the bodies of two women were suffering from gunshot wounds inside St. Peter's Episcopal Church. Emergency service units were called in to enter the church, along with K-9 units, shortly before 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. The body of man was found in a nearby wooded area.
At this point, we don't know how long the bodies were there when the custodian called around 5:20 this evening, Howard County police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said, according to WBALTV. We do know that one was deceased and the other was transported to Shock Trauma. She was still alive but in very critical condition.
Brenda Brewington, 59, of Ellicott City, was pronounced dead at the scene. According to the church's website, she is listed at the administrator.
Marguerite Mary Kohn, 62, of Halethorpe, was taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, also with a gunshot wound. She was listed in critical condition Friday morning, reported Patch. On the church's website, she is listed at the co-rector of the church.
The identity of the man remains unknown at this time. However, police suspect it might have been a suicide.
Right now, we are looking into the possibility, the very real possibility, that this was a self-inflicted gunshot wound and that this man in the woods ... may have been involved in some way, Llewellyn said.
Police also believe the unknown man is responsible for the shootings, reported the Washington Post.
Neighbors were shocked about the incident that is described a quiet neighborhood, reported Patch.
I can't believe something like this is happening here, said Kelly Shaw, who lives near the church. It's so shocking.
Andrea Mandato, who lives nearby, is also surprised that something like this could happen in her neighborhood.
This has always been a very quiet town, she said. Thoughts and prayers go out to the victims.
The fact that the incident occurred in a church really upset some residents.
Crime is everywhere, but when you find it in a church it's really bad, said Lisa Felton, a resident who lives nearby, reported WBALTV. It has to be someone very disturbed. I don't know what would take you to that point to make you do that.
The church is supposed to be a sanctuary, Felton continued. It's terrible, it's terrible.