3 people were killed in workplace shooting at Maryland plant. The suspect and a trooper were wounded in an ensuing shootout
At a manufacturing plant in western Maryland on Thursday, a 23-year-old man shot and killed three of his coworkers before fleeing the scene and engaging in a shootout with state troopers.
According to Lt. Col. Bill Dofflemyer of the Maryland State Police, a trooper and the suspect were injured and sent to the hospital.
Washington County Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore said during a press conference that investigators have yet to uncover a motive for the workplace shooting, which occurred at approximately 2:30 p.m. ET.
There are currently no charges against the unidentified suspect being considered by the Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office, according to an MSP news release.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, this is the 254th mass shooting death in the United States so far this year. Amidst a flurry of gun-control legislation enacted by the House of Representatives, the Senate is unlikely to take up any of it.
Mullendore claimed that both the victims and the suspect were Columbia Machine employees. According to their website, the business specializes in the production of concrete goods equipment.
A 25-year veteran of the MSP was released from the hospital after receiving treatment for his injuries, according to a statement from the agency. At least one of the responding troopers retaliated against the suspect, striking him and injuring him as well. As of Thursday night, he was still being treated, according to the police.
First responders from Smithsburg, a nearby hamlet, found a victim in a field near the factory, Mullendore says. According to a sheriff’s press statement, there were a total of four victims at the plant, with three of them having died.
Three state troopers discovered the suspect about five miles from the shooting location after receiving a description of him and his vehicle.
Immediately after troopers approached the vehicle, the suspect opened fire on them, Dofflemyer said. Authorities said they found a pistol at the second shooting scene.
Mark Alan Frey, 50; Charles Edward Minnick Jr., 31; and Joshua Robert Wallace, 30, were the three victims that were killed, according to the sheriff. Brandon Chase Michael, 42, was the other victim; authorities had previously stated that he was in critical condition.
Nearby Baltimore, Smithsburg is roughly 75 miles away. According to the sheriff, it’s around 100 miles from the West Virginia border where the suspect lives.
According to the Maryland State Police, the homicide investigation is being led by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the FBI and the Baltimore office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
According to the standard operating procedure of the department, any troopers who were involved in the shooting “shall be placed on administrative duty” until the investigation is over.