25-year-old state trooper among injured
UPDATE 11:12 p.m. — The Maryland State Police released further details about the mass shooting at a Columbia Machine warehouse in Smithsburg that left three dead and three injured.
Police said that the state trooper who was injured in gunfire with the suspect is a 25-year-old man assigned to the Criminal Enforcement Division Western Region. The trooper has since been released from the hospital.
The release said that officers responded just after 2:45 p.m. for the shooting that took place around 2:30 p.m. They obtained a description of the suspect and his vehicle, which helped the troopers identify him and attempt to pull him over near Mapleville Road and Mount Aetna Road.
The FBI and ATF are working with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to continue this investigation.
UPDATE 8:44 p.m. — Police delivered an update identifying the victims and giving more information on the suspect in Thursday afternoon’s mass shooting at a Smithsburg warehouse.
Officials confirmed that all four of the victims at the Columbia Machine warehouse and the suspect are employees at Columbia Manufacturing. They identified the victims as 50-year-old Mark Alan Frey, 31-year-old Charles Edward Minnick, Jr., and 30-year-old Joshua Robert Wallace. The injured man was 42-year-old Brandon Chase Michael.
Wallace’s girlfriend posted on Facebook, saying, “My heart is completely shattered. I lost the love of my life today.”
Police said that the suspect is in custody at Meritus Medical Center and is a 23-year-old man from West Virginia. His name was not released as charges are still pending. They did not give any information on a possible motive.
Police said that a semi-automatic handgun was used at the manufacturing facility and in the altercation with state troopers.
The injured officer is doing well. The suspect is still being treated.
Police first found an injured person outside the business in a field when they responded. The state troopers were on Route 66 heading toward the scene when they saw the suspect’s vehicle and attempted to stop the car. The suspect immediately began shooting, and the officers returned fire.
UPDATE 5:52 p.m. — Police gave more details about the shooting that took place at a warehouse owned by Columbia Machine, Inc.
When they first responded to the location in Smithsburg, they found four victims. Three were dead at the scene, and the fourth was critically injured and transported.
The suspect, a man, had fled the scene before officials arrived. He encountered the state trooper near Mapleville Road and Mount Aetna Road. Shots were exchanged, and both the suspect and the trooper were hit.
Organizations including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the FBI responded to the scene.
Police did not confirm whether or not the suspect worked at the facility. They confirmed that there is no threat to the public.
SMITHSBURG, Md. (WDVM) — Police confirmed that three people are dead and another is injured in a shooting that took place in Smithsburg on Thursday afternoon.
The police response is ongoing. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is assisting in the response. Residents should avoid the 12900 block of Bikle Road as this continues.
Governor Larry Hogan made a statement. He said that state police were responding when the suspect shot a trooper in the shoulder. The trooper returned fire, hitting the suspect. Both are in the hospital in critical condition.
“I have been briefed on it but it’s an ongoing situation. We don’t have all of the facts and I’m not sure they’re ready to put out all of the facts without notifying next of kin,” Hogan said.
“This is a county and state agency investigation. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those involved. We certainly wish the best to all those in our small community that are involved in this situation,” said Smithsburg Mayor Donald Souders.
Officials said that there is no current threat to the public.
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