Maryland authorities announce 3 dead and 1 injured after shooting at manufacturing plant

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Three people were killed and one person was injured Thursday at a Maryland manufacturing plant by a co-worker who was also injured following an exchange of fire with a state trooper, authorities said. .

Deputies from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Columbia Machine plant in Smithsburg around 2:30 p.m. amid reports of an active shooter.

“Smithsburg Police Department officers were on scene first and located an injured victim outside of the business,” the sheriff’s office said. “When deputies arrived at the scene, 3 additional victims, all deceased, were located inside the business.”

The deceased victims were identified Thursday evening 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, authorities said.


A Washington County Sheriff’s Office patrol car. Several people were injured Thursday in a shooting.
(Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland)

The suspect was only identified as a 23-year-old man from West Virginia.

He fled the scene before authorities arrived but was spotted nearby by Maryland State Police. A shootout ensued and the shooter and a soldier were injured, authorities said. Both were taken to hospital for medical treatment.

Investigators recovered an unspecified semi-automatic handgun that was allegedly used at both crime scenes.

Columbia Machine produces molds and production equipment, according to its website. Fox News contacted the factory. A sheriff’s office official said investigators have not determined the suspect’s motive or whether he worked at the plant.

After the shooting, a local hospital was also quarantined at 3:50 p.m. local time and lifted a few hours later. The suspect remains hospitalized at the medical center.

U.S. Representative David Trone, D-Md., said he was monitoring the situation.

“Our office is in contact with officials on the ground. If you are local, please stay away from the area while law enforcement responds,” he tweeted.

US Senator Chris Van Hollen, also a Democrat from Maryland, said he was monitoring the incident and had contacted local officials to offer their support.

Agents from the Baltimore Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI responded to the scene.


Marjorie N. McClure