“He was not on the radar screen at all,” Mitchell said. “It’s just a god-awful tragedy.”
Parker said Green’s family told detectives that Green had battled some type of mental illness for the past year and was taking medication. She declined to be more specific. Law enforcement officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to candidly discuss the investigation, said he suffered from schizophrenia.
Messages left for Green’s relatives were not returned. After a reporter knocked on the door of the family’s home in the Baltimore suburb of Rosedale, a neighbor emerged and quickly shut the door behind her, saying “no comment” as she walked away.
Two others on the street also declined to talk. But one older man who lives next door to the Greens said: “As far as I know he was a nice young man. He went to college and he was helpful when I needed it.”
How Green obtained the weapons is a part of the police investigation. Law enforcement officials said Green purchased the handgun legally in April from Just Guns, outside of Baltimore. Jim Morganthall, a manager there, said while he could not confirm that specifically, Green would have undergone a background check — as do all gun purchasers — in which his name was checked against certain state mental health records. The check would not explore records at private hospitals, according to a state police spokesman.
The fully loaded semiautomatic weapon in Green’s shoulder pack was a .22-caliber rifle manufactured by Israel Weapons Industries. The model is an Uzi B. Green bought the weapon legally Jan. 18 from a gun store in Silver Spring.
Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has proposed a ban on assault weapons, strict new licensing requirements and an expansion of the list of mental health issues that can preclude a state resident from purchasing a gun. Green’s Uzi probably would be banned under O’Malley’s bill. Still, it was not immediately clear whether the bill would have prevented Green from purchasing the handgun used in the shooting. O’Malley spokeswoman Raquel Guillory said it was too soon to comment or draw conclusions about the incident.
The shooting comes at a time when police have added patrols on campus in response to at least five armed robberies or attempted robberies at or near the university in recent weeks. One of those cases was later determined to be unfounded, and Mitchell, the U-Md. police chief, said none seem to bear any connection to the shooting.
Even as debate raged from College Park to Annapolis, some officials urged grief for the victims rather than political back and forth.
“For today,” said Loh, the U-Md. president, “I would like to focus on our mourning and our thoughts for the victims.”
Lynh Bui, Aaron Davis, Maggie Fazeli Fard, Peter Hermann, Jennifer Jenkins and Alice Crites contributed to this report.