Three people, all men, were killed and one person was injured Thursday at a Maryland manufacturing plant, Columbia Machine, which produces produces molds and production equipment, by a co-worker.The dead victims were Mark Frey, 50, Charles Edward Minnick, Jr., 31, and Joshua Robert Wallace, 30. The suspect was only identified as a 23-year-old West Virginia man. He fled the scene prior to the arrival of authorities but was spotted nearby by the Maryland State Police driving about 5 miles from the shooting scene, on Mapleville Rd., Route 66. When the troopers went to stop the vehicle, the suspect immediately started firing multiple rounds at the troopers. Exchancing gunfire, the gunman and a trooper were injured and taken to a hospital. The wounded trooper is doing well.
Police from the nearby town of Smithsburg were first to arrive at the plant. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,Firearms and Explosives office in Baltimore and the FBI also responded to the scene. Investigators recovered an unspecified semi-automatic handgun. Investigators have not yet established a motive for the workplace shooting, which occurred at about 2:30 p.m. ET. The fatal incident is the 254th mass shooting this year. The killer has not yet been charged. “This is a terrible, terrible tragedy,” Maryland Sen. Paul Corderman said. “Completely heinous and unacceptable.”Smithsburg is in a remote area near the Maryland-Pennsylvania border a few miles from Hagerstown, Maryland, and about 75 miles west of Baltimore.