Intruder knew couple whose house he broke into in Glen Arm, police say

Robert F. Buss, 35, exchanged gunfire with woman, later committed suicide with an assault rifle

January 11, 2011|By Nick Madigan, The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore County police released more details Tuesday about an incident last week in which a man broke into a house in Glen Arm, exchanged gunfire with a resident and later committed suicide.

The intruder, identified as Robert Floyd Buss, a 36-year-old Middle River resident with a long criminal record, knew the couple whose house it was, according to Lt. Robert McCullough, a police spokesman. Buss met the couple, Luigi and Aubrey Alvano, at a hair salon they own in Essex.

"It appears that his intent was to rob them," McCullough said. Buss, dressed in a camouflage, military-style outfit and armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, fired at Aubrey Alvano when she discovered him inside her house Friday morning, he said. Alvano, armed with two handguns — one a .357-caliber, the other a .38 — returned fire, but neither person was wounded in the exchange.

Buss then ran to his Chevrolet pickup and fled. A police helicopter located the truck later in the rear parking lot of Sanders' Corner Restaurant, about two miles away. Officers who were sent to the site found Buss dead of a self-inflicted bullet wound, the rifle between his legs. McCullough said the weapon's serial number had been defaced.

McCullough said earlier reports that the intruder had been fatally shot by the homeowner might have been fueled by a trail of blood found between the Alvanos' house and the spot where Buss had parked his truck, but police determined that the intruder had cut himself on broken glass during the melee.

Across Glen Arm Road, another homeowner, Anna Lance, said she had become aware of the incident shortly before 9 a.m. Friday when police officers arrived, guns drawn. "At first I thought it was a deer that had gotten hit — that's usually what happens around here," she said, motioning to the woods and fields around her home.

Lance said neighbors told her they had seen the man involved in the shooting, dressed in hunting gear and carrying a large weapon, walking across the Alvanos' lawn. "It just seems really odd," she said, "that someone would commit a robbery at 9 in the morning."

nick.madigan@baltsun.com

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