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Employee Kills 3 at Maryland Plant, Officials Say

An worker opened hearth at manufacturing plant in Maryland on Thursday afternoon, killing three co-workers and critically injuring one other earlier than he was shot by a state trooper in an trade of gunfire that left each wounded, the authorities stated.

Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived at the ability close to Smithsburg, Md., about 70 miles northwest of Baltimore, in response to experiences of an energetic shooter at about 2:30 p.m., however the man had already fled, the sheriff’s office stated.

Deputies discovered three folks lifeless and one particular person in essential situation at Columbia Machine, a company based mostly in Vancouver, Wash., the sheriff’s office stated. Officials from the company didn’t instantly reply to telephone calls and emails.

Maryland State Police troopers who headed to the plant noticed the suspect based mostly on an outline of him and his automobile, the sheriff’s office stated. When they tried to cease the automobile, the person “immediately” began firing at them with a semiautomatic handgun, injuring a trooper, the sheriff’s office stated. Troopers returned hearth.

The injured trooper was handled at a hospital and launched, whereas the situation of the suspect was not instantly offered.

The motive for the capturing was not instantly clear.

The staff who had been fatally shot had been Mark A. Frey, 50, Charles E. Minnick Jr., 31, and Joshua R. Wallace, 30. The man who was critically injured is Brandon C. Michael, 42.

The suspect was recognized as a 23-year-old from West Virginia, however the authorities didn’t launch his identify as a result of he had not been charged, Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office stated.

Mayor Donald L. Souders described Smithsburg as a small city of about 3,000 residents about 25 miles south of Gettysburg and simply north of Antietam.

“We’re a town that has seen tragedy before,” Mr. Souders stated. “And we’ve rallied. And we’ll do the same thing and be there for the victims, their families, the survivors and for the officer that was injured today.”

The sheriff’s office stated that federal businesses, together with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, had been serving to within the investigation.

Columbia Machine is a non-public company based in 1937 that designs, manufactures and helps “factory automation equipment solutions for a variety of industries” and does business in additional than 100 international locations, the company stated in a 2019 information launch.

The capturing got here after a sequence of current high-profile mass killings, together with one in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, N.Y.

Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland stated in a press release Thursday night that he was “devastated” by the capturing.

“Today’s horrific shooting comes as our state and nation have witnessed tragedy after tragedy, and it’s got to stop,” he stated. (*3*)

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