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3 killed, 2 wounded in shooting at Maryland machine plant; employee in custody

( CBS )


Three people were killed and two injured, including a state trooper, in a shooting at a machine plant in Smithsburg, Maryland, the Washington County Sheriff's Office said. The suspect, an employee, was also wounded and is in custody.


Authorities responded to a reported shooting at Columbia Machine Inc. at around 2:30 p.m., the sheriff's office said in a statement on Facebook. Upon arrival, they found three people dead and one in critical condition.


During a press conference late Thursday, Sheriff Douglas Mullendore identified those killed as Charles Edward Minnick Jr., 31; Joshua Robert Wallace, 30; and Mark Alan Frey, 50.


Brandon Chase Michael, 42, was injured. They were all current employees at Columbia Machine Inc.


The suspect, who fled the scene, was located in a vehicle by Maryland State Police. He exchanged gunfire with a trooper. Both were taken to a hospital with injuries, the sheriff's office said. A semiautomatic handgun was recovered from the suspect's vehicle.


Maryland State Police Lt. Cnl. Bill Dofflemyer said Thursday evening that the trooper is "doing well."


The gunman — identified by Mullendore as a 23-year-old Hispanic man from West Virginia, and a current employee of Columbia Machine Inc. — is in custody at the hospital, where he is still being treated. Charges against him are still pending.


A motive has not yet been determined.


During a Thursday afternoon press briefing, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said the responding trooper was shot in the shoulder.


"I don't know the status of the shooter," Hogan said. "But it's an ongoing, developing situation."


U.S. Rep. David Trone, who represents Smithsburg's district, tweeted that he is "actively monitoring the mass shooting."


"If you're local, please stay away from the area as law enforcement responds," he added.


The FBI and ATF are helping with the investigation, the sheriff's office said.


Smithsburg is located more than 60 miles northwest of Washington, D.C.


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