The suspect and a state trooper were also injured.
Smithsburg, Md. (KM) – The investigation continues into a deadly mass shooting in Smithsburg Thursday afternoon.
Sergeant Carly Hose with the Washington County Sherriff’s Office says at around 2:30 PM, deputies were dispatched to Columbia Machine, Inc., at 12912 Bikle Road for a report of an active shooter. “Units immediately responded and located four victims, three of which were deceased art the scene; and one who was critically injured and transported,” she told reporters at a briefing on Thursday.
The suspect fled the scene before law enforcement officers arrived, and a lookout was broadcast. Sergeant Hose says the suspect encountered Maryland State Police in the area of Mapleville Road and Mount Aetna Road. “Gunshot were exchanged between the suspect and trooper. Both were injured and transported for medical treatment,” she said.
The trooper, a 25-year veteran of the State Police, was treated and released.
State Police say the trooper involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of an investigation.
The victims have been identified as 50-year-old Mark Alan Frey, 31-year-old Charles Edward Minnick Jr., and 30-year-old Joshua Robert Wallace. 42-year-old Brandon Chase Michael was injured in the shooting and remains in the hospital.
The suspect is under law enforcement custody at Meritus Medical Center and is identified as a 23-year-old Hispanic male who resides in West Virginia. His identity will not be released until charging documents are filed.
Sergeant Hose says the FBI, ATF and other federal agencies responded to assist the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation of this incident.
Authorities say there is no active threat to the community.
By Kevin McManus