When the family attended an opera after Thomas gave her a pearl necklace, they left early. Thomas claimed he was feeling ill, and so they left down an alley to return home. However they were confronted by Joe Chill, who demanded their jewellery and money at gunpoint. The robbery went wrong and both Martha and Thomas were shot and killed by Chill, who fled. Their death caused the wealthy of Gotham to realise how bad the poverty situation was, but it left Bruce an orphan who was angry at the world.