3 dead, 1 critically wounded in shooting at machine shop in Maryland’s Washington Co.

Deputies found three dead victims at the scene, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Sgt. Carly Hose said during a press briefing. Another victim was taken to hospital in critical condition.

Law enforcement vehicles block the road at the scene of a shooting at a Maryland business near Smithsburg, Md., Thursday, June 9, 2022. A man opened fire Thursday at a manufacturing business in rural western Maryland, killing several people before the suspect and a state trooper were injured in a shooting, authorities said.  (AP Photo/Michael Kunzelman)

Law enforcement vehicles block the road at the scene of a shooting at a Maryland business near Smithsburg, Md., Thursday, June 9, 2022. A man opened fire Thursday at a manufacturing business in rural western Maryland, killing several people before the suspect and a state trooper were injured in a shooting, authorities said. (AP Photo/Michael Kunzelman)

AP/Michael Kunzelman

A tactical cop walks near where a man opened fire on a business, killing three people before the suspect and a state trooper were injured in a shootout, authorities say in Smithsburg, in Maryland on Thursday, June 9, 2022. The Washington County (Md.) Sheriff's Office said in a news release that three victims were found dead at Columbia Machine Inc. and a fourth victim was critically injured.  (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)

A tactical cop walks near where a man opened fire on a business, killing three people before the suspect and a state trooper were injured in a shootout, authorities say in Smithsburg, in Maryland on Thursday, June 9, 2022. The Washington County (Md.) Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that three victims were found dead at Columbia Machine Inc. and a fourth victim was critically injured. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)

AP/Steve Ruark

Law enforcement is working near where a man opened fire on a business, killing three people before the suspect and a state trooper were injured in a shootout, authorities said. in Smithsburg, Md. on Thursday, June 9, 2022. The Washington County ( Md.) Sheriff's Office said in a news release that three victims were found dead at Columbia Machine Inc. and a fourth victim had been seriously injured.  (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)

Law enforcement is working near where a man opened fire on a business, killing three people before the suspect and a state trooper were injured in a shootout, authorities said. in Smithsburg, Md. on Thursday, June 9, 2022. The Washington County ( Md.) Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that three victims were found dead at Columbia Machine Inc. and a fourth victim had been seriously injured. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)

AP/Steve Ruark

Law enforcement officials process evidence from one of two cars involved in a shooting involving a Maryland State Police officer Thursday, June 9, 2022 along Mt. Aetna Road near Smithsburg, Md. An employee opened fire on a manufacturing business in rural western Maryland on Thursday, killing three co-workers before the suspect and a state trooper were injured in a shootout, authorities said.  (AP Photo/Timothy Jacobsen)

Law enforcement officials process evidence from one of two cars involved in a shooting involving a Maryland State Police officer Thursday, June 9, 2022 along Mt. Aetna Road near Smithsburg, Md. An employee opened fire on a manufacturing business in rural western Maryland on Thursday, killing three co-workers before the suspect and a state trooper were injured in a shootout, authorities said. (AP Photo/Timothy Jacobsen)

AP/Timothy Jacobsen

Law enforcement officials remove evidence from one of two cars involved in a shooting involving a Maryland State Police officer Thursday, June 9, 2022 near Smithsburg, Maryland.  An employee opened fire Thursday at a manufacturing business in rural western Maryland, killing three co-workers before the suspect and a state trooper were injured in a shootout, authorities said.  (AP Photo/Timothy Jacobsen)

Law enforcement officials remove evidence from one of two cars involved in a shooting involving a Maryland State Police officer Thursday, June 9, 2022 near Smithsburg, Maryland. An employee opened fire Thursday at a manufacturing business in rural western Maryland, killing three co-workers before the suspect and a state trooper were injured in a shootout, authorities said. (AP Photo/Timothy Jacobsen)

AP/Timothy Jacobsen

Law enforcement officials gather outside the entrance to Columbia Machine Inc Thursday, June 9, 2022 near Smithsburg, Maryland.  An employee opened fire Thursday at a manufacturing business in rural western Maryland, killing three co-workers before the suspect and a state trooper were injured.  in a shootout, authorities said.  (AP Photo/Timothy Jacobsen)

Law enforcement officials gather outside the entrance to Columbia Machine Inc Thursday, June 9, 2022 near Smithsburg, Maryland. An employee opened fire Thursday at a manufacturing business in rural western Maryland, killing three co-workers before the suspect and a state trooper were injured. in a shootout, authorities said. (AP Photo/Timothy Jacobsen)

AP/Timothy Jacobsen

Law enforcement stands near the scene of a shooting at Columbia Machine, Inc., in Smithsburg, Md., Thursday, Jan. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Tim Jacobsen)

Law enforcement stands near the scene of a shooting at Columbia Machine, Inc., in Smithsburg, Md., Thursday, Jan. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Tim Jacobsen)

AP/Tim Jacobsen

Three people are dead and another seriously injured after a shooting at a machine shop near Smithsburg, Maryland on Thursday afternoon.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded around 2:30 p.m. Thursday for reports of an active shooter at Columbia Machine, a manufacturing plant in the 12900 block of Bikle Road.

They found three dead victims at the scene, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Carly Hose said during a press briefing. Another victim was taken to hospital in critical condition.



At a subsequent press conference Thursday evening, Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore identified the victims who were killed as Mark Alan Frey, 50; Charles Edward Minnick Jr., 31; and Joshua Robert Wallace, 30. The injured victim has been identified as Brandon Chase Michael, 42. Mullendore said the victims and the suspect worked at the facility.

Mullendore did not identify the suspect but said he was a 23-year-old man who lives in West Virginia. The suspect’s name will not be released as criminal charges are being prepared.

A male suspect fled the scene by car before deputies arrived, the sheriff’s office said. A description of the vehicle was circulated among nearby law enforcement, and a Maryland State Police encountered it shortly after at a roundabout on Md. Route 66/Maplesville Road and Mount Aetna Road – about 5 miles from the initial shootout.

Bill Dofflemyer of the Maryland State Police said three soldiers encountered the suspect and tried to arrest him, he immediately began shooting at police. The soldiers returned fire and in the exchange the suspect was shot along with a soldier.

“We are still working with the sheriff’s office on what happened and why it kept getting worse,” Dofflemyer told reporters.

Gunshots could be heard in eyewitness footage posted on social media. Mullendore said the suspect used a semi-automatic handgun, which was recovered after the shooting. He declined to specify the caliber or model.

The officer and the suspect were taken to hospital. Maryland State Police said in a statement late Thursday that the injured soldier – a 15-year veteran of the department – had been released after receiving treatment.

Representative David Trone, who represents Maryland’s 6th congressional district, called the incident on Twitter a “mass shooting” and urged residents to avoid the scene.

US Senator Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland, lamented the loss of life in his state so soon after other recent shootings and vowed to take action.

“Today’s horrific shooting comes as our state and our nation have witnessed tragedy after tragedy, and that must end,” he said in a statement. “We must act to address mass shootings and the daily toll of gun violence in our communities.”

Smithsburg, a community of nearly 3,000 people, lies just west of the Camp David presidential retreat and about 120 kilometers northwest of Baltimore. The manufacturing plant was in a sparsely populated area northeast of the city center with a church, several businesses, and farmland nearby.

Abigail Constantino of WTOP and Associated Press contributed to this report.

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