A former postal worker burdened with a “mountain of debt” was charged Wednesday with shooting to death four men, including two employees he knew, in a holdup at a small neighborhood post office.
Christopher Green, 29, was arrested at his apartment in East Orange, N.J., four miles from this New York City suburb, less than 24 hours after the robbery.
Investigators had gotten a tip from someone who knew Green, U.S. Attorney Faith Hochberg said. She would not give details.
In Green’s apartment, investigators found blood-splattered clothes worn during the holdup, a 9mm pistol believed to have been used in the crime and $2,000 cash, some of it under the refrigerator, Hochberg said. More than $5,000 apparently was taken in the robbery, she said.
Green told investigators that he entered the post office Tuesday afternoon, ordered the two workers and three customers inside to go to the back room and lie on the floor, then shot them, according to court papers. One customer survived and was in critical condition Wednesday.
Before dying, one of the workers called out Green’s name, said Police Chief Thomas Russo, who would not explain how he knew.
Green said he committed the robbery “because he had a mountain of debt” and he used part of the money for back rent, Postal Inspector Kevin Manley said.
Green, who works in the Montclair Public Works Department, was a temporary postal employee in 1992-93 in Montclair, according to court papers.
It was not immediately clear whether he had worked at the postal station where the slayings took place or the main office in town. However, he knew both postal employees who were killed, authorities said.
Green faces charges of robbing a post office, killing two postal workers, carrying a firearm and using a firearm to kill four people inside a post office.
The neighborhood post office is a satellite of the main Montclair station. Earlier this month, bulletproof glass was installed at the main post office to protect its workers, but the substation had no protective glass or surveillance cameras.
Russo identified the dead postal workers as Stanley Scott Walensky, 42, and Ernest Spruill, 56. The two slain customers were Robert Leslie, 38, and George Lomoga, 59. David Grossman, 45, was shot twice in the face and was in critical condition.