SMITHSBURG, Md. — At least three people were killed and three others injured –including the suspected gunman and a Maryland State Police trooper – in a mass shooting Thursday at a manufacturing facility north of Smithsburg, authorities said.
Sgt. Carly Hose said there was no further threat to the public.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to a shooting incident at about 2:30 p.m. When deputies arrived at Columbia Machine, they found four gunshot victims, three of whom were dead.
The suspect, a male, fled before the sheriff’s office arrived, Hose said. A state trooper encountered the suspect and they exchanged gunfire. Both were hit and taken to the hospital.
“The trooper is doing well and the suspect is continuing to be treated,” Lt. Col. Bill Dofflemyer, chief of the State Police Criminal Investigation Bureau, said at a Thursday night press conference.
Washington County Sheriff Doug Mullendore identified the victims as Mark Alan Frey, 50; Charles Edward Minnick Jr., 31; and Joshua Robert Wallace, 30. All were employees at the facility. The condition of another employee who was injured in the shooting wasn’t immediately available.
The suspect was identified only as a 23-year-old man from West Virginia who also worked at Columbia Machine, which provides concrete products equipment to customers in over 100 countries, according to its website. A motive has not been determined, Mullendore said.
Further details about the suspect, including his name, weren’t provided because charges have not yet been filed, Mullendore said. A semi-automatic handgun was used in the shooting, the sheriff said, but he declined to specify the model or caliber.
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On Twitter, Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin thanked several law enforcement agencies involved in the response and said, “This cannot keep happening.”
“I’m devastated by the lives taken today in Smithsburg and for the pain and suffering their loved ones are experiencing,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen said in a statement. “Today’s horrific shooting comes as our state and nation have witnessed tragedy after tragedy, and it’s got to stop. We must act to address the mass shootings and the daily toll of gun violence in our communities.”
“I am committed to meeting your pain with action,” Van Hollen said.
Smithsburg is about 75 miles northwest of Baltimore, near the Pennsylvania border.
The Maryland shooting is the latest in a string of workplace violence carried out by disgruntled workers or former employees. Assault is the fourth-leading cause of workplace deaths, according to the National Safety Council, which, in 2020, counted 392 fatalities along with more than 20,000 injuries.
In April 2021, a gunman killed nine colleagues at a light rail yard in San Jose, California. A month later, a former employer of a FedEx facility in Indianapolis fatally shot eight people and injured seven others in a late-night assault.
Contributing: Thao Nguyen, USA TODAY.