Maryland mass shooting: Everything we know

Latest mass shooting in Smithsburg, Maryland, has claimed at least three lives

Three dead and one critically wounded in Maryland mass shooting
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Three people have been shot dead at the Columbia Machine manufacturing plant in Smithsburg, Maryland, on Thursday, Governor Larry Hogan has confirmed.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office was called to Bikle Road, Smithsburg, at around 2.30pm on Wednesday to reports of a shooting at the premises.

In a press briefing around 5pm Thursday, Gov. Hogan said that three people had died in the shooting.

At least two more people, including the shooter, are injured, he said.

He said Maryland state troopers responded to the shooting and pursued and confronted the suspect about 8 kms (5 miles) south of the plant.

“The suspect fired and shot the state troopers the shoulder, and the state trooper returned fire and shot him back.”

“I don’t know the status of the shooter,” Mr Hogan said.

Police response to the shooting

When police arrived, they found three of the four victims were deceased. The fourth was in critical condition.

The suspect, who authorities said is a man, had reportedly fled the scene prior to their arrival. The individual’s description was circulated among law enforcement and the suspect was eventually encountered by Maryland State Police. When state troopers found the alleged shooter’s car and attempted to stop him, the man reportedly began shooting at them.

Both the suspect and a state trooper were injured in the shooting and were transported to hospital.

The injured trooper was released from the hospital on Friday. Officials said he was recovering well.

Officers from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) were at the scene of the shooting.

“ATF Special Agents are responding to assist our partners in the Washington County Sheriff’s Office with a shooting incident in Smithsburg, MD where there are multiple victims,” the ATF said in a tweet.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office initially said “multiple victims” had been wounded, and that the suspect was “no longer a threat to the community”.

“This is a rapidly evolving incident and we will release information as we are able.

“We are actively monitoring the mass shooting in Smithsburg right now, and our office is in contact with officials on the ground,” tweeted local Congressman David Trone just before 3pm.

“If you’re local, please stay away from the area as law enforcement responds.”

Maryland state senator Ben Cardin said his thoughts were with the victims of the “horrible tragedy”.

“This cannot keep happening,” he tweeted.

Columbia Machine

All of the victims were workers at Columbia Machine in Smithsburg. Police later learned that the shooter was also an employee at the factory.

The victims of the shooting have been identified as 50-year-old Mark Alan Frey, 31-year-old Charles Edward Minnick, Jr., and 30-year-old Joshua Robert Wallace. Brandon Chase Michael, 42, was also injured in the shooting.

The alleged shooter was taken into custody and hospitalised after he was wounded in a shoot out with Maryland State Troopers.

Smithsburg is situated about 120kms (75 miles) west of Baltimore and 115kms (72 miles) north of Washington DC, near the state’s border with Pennsylvania.

According to its website, Columbia Smithsburg manufactures, repairs and services moulds, offers “complete equipment lines to customers in over 100 countries”.

Another tragic mass shooting in America

The shooting is another in a long list of mass shootings to rock the US. It comes on the heels of the Uvalde school shooting in which 19 students and two faculty members of Robb Elementary School were killed by an 18-year-old gunman using an AR-15 rifle. Weeks prior, 10 people — primarily people of colour — were killed in a mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.

Less than two weeks ago, a man stormed a hospital near Tulsa, Oklahoma, where and killed three people, including a surgeon who had previously operated on him, two hospital staff members, and a patient. The shooter also shot and killed himself.

Since Uvalde, police have made numerous arrests of individuals threatening on social media to carry out shootings.

In one case a 10-year-old boy from Florida threatened to shoot up his school. In Berkeley, California, a teen was allegedly trying to recruit others to help him carry out a "mass shooting/bombing" at Berkeley High School. A Canadian teen was also arrested after posting a threatening video to a social media site in which he waved around a gun and threatened to attack a West Palm Beach LGBTQ event for Pride month.

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