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Three Dead and One Injured in Maryland Manufacturing Facility Shooting

Incident Details

Three people have been killed and one person is in critical condition following a shooting at a manufacturing facility in Smithsburg, Maryland. The incident took place at Columbia Machine in the 12900 block of Bikle Road, near Smithsburg High and Middle Schools, around 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.

According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, deputies arrived at the scene and discovered four victims who had been shot. Tragically, three of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene, while the fourth victim was critically injured. Authorities have not provided an update on the condition of the injured victim.

The victims who lost their lives have been identified as Mark Alan Frey (50 years old), Charles Edward Minnick Jr. (31 years old), and Joshua Robert Wallace (30 years old). The injured victim has been identified as Brandon Chase Michael (42 years old).

Suspect and Chase

The suspect managed to flee the scene before deputies arrived. Maryland State Troopers, who were also responding to the shooting, encountered the suspect’s vehicle in the area of Maplesville Road and Mount Aetna Road. A chase ensued as troopers attempted to apprehend the suspect.

During the pursuit, both the suspect and a Maryland State Trooper exchanged gunfire, resulting in injuries to both individuals. They were subsequently taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. The trooper is expected to recover. The suspect, described as a 23-year-old Hispanic man from West Virginia, remains in custody. However, authorities have not released his name, pending the filing of charges.

Motive and Investigation

Investigators are currently working to determine the motive behind the shooting. It has been revealed that all the victims and the suspect were employees of Columbia Machine. However, no specific details have been provided regarding the motive for the tragic incident.

The exact firearm used in the shootings has been identified as a semi-automatic handgun. Law enforcement officials have recovered the weapon, but the specific caliber, make, and model have not been disclosed at this time.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is being assisted in the investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) offices in Baltimore.

Local and National Response

Local and national officials have expressed their condolences and called for action on gun violence in response to the shooting.

Maryland Senator Ben Cardin released a statement expressing his sympathy for the victims’ families and gratitude towards law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation. He also mentioned reaching out to local officials to offer any federal resources that may be helpful in the aftermath of the shooting.

Similarly, Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen expressed his devastation for the lives lost and the pain endured by the victims’ loved ones. He emphasized the need for immediate action to address mass shootings and the ongoing toll of gun violence. Van Hollen pledged to offer support and resources from his office to the affected community.

Recent Incidents of Gun Violence

The shooting in Smithsburg, Maryland adds to a string of recent incidents of gun violence across the United States.

Less than a week prior, a mass shooting occurred at a medical center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, resulting in the deaths of four people.

In Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, a tragic mass shooting took place at a school, claiming the lives of 19 children and two teachers.

Another incident occurred on May 15 in Laguna Woods, California, where five people were injured and one person was killed inside a church. This incident followed a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, where an 18-year-old gunman killed 10 Black people.

These incidents highlight the urgency and importance of addressing the issue of gun violence in the United States.