Police: Elderly grocery owner's killer targeted grandson

There is an arrest after the longtime owner of a South Philadelphia grocery store was shot to death there on Christmas Eve, and police say her grandson knew the killer.

Thursday afternoon, Capt. James Clark anounced Maurice Green, 31, was arrested Wednesday night at his home in the 5400 block of Berks Street.

Green is charged with murdering Marie Buck, who owned owned Marie's Grocery on S. 6th Street for 44 years.

Investigators say Buck was shot 11 times in her chest, point blank, as she stood behind the counter just before 9am Saturday.

"There is videotape of him parking the vehicle, walking down towards the store minutes before the murder, right after the murder," Clark said, "fleeing the scene, getting back into that vehicle and leaving."

According to police, Green knew Buck's grandson from the drug trade and thought the grandson stole jewelry, specifically an expensive chain. Green wanted money for the chain and didn't get it, so he was out for revenge.

Police said Bucks' grandson was supposed to be working that morning but he did not show up. He may have been the target.

Instead, police say Green shot his grandmother who ended up working that day. Then, he left without taking anything.

The grandson is said to be very sad.

Green is said to have had a lot of previous trouble with the law. He has 15 prior arrests, mostly involving drugs, and police are still searching for the gun used in the crime.

Earlier, Police Commissioner Richard Ross called the killing "pure evil."

Buck worked in the store six days a week and only a month away from retiring. She lived a few doors away with her husband.

The community's outpouring has been incredible. Flowers, candles and handwritten notes piled up on the steps of her store. Christmas lights on the street had been put up but not turned on, out of respect.

Visitations had been scheduled for 7-9pm Thursday and 9:30-10:30am Friday at Baldi Funeral Home, 1331 S. Broad Street, followed by her funeral at St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi Church at 11am.