3 Killed in Shooting at Maryland Manufacturing Plant


A man opened fire at a manufacturing plant in Maryland on Thursday afternoon, killing three people and critically injuring another before he was shot by a state trooper in an exchange of gunfire that left both wounded, the authorities said.

Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived at the facility in Smithsburg, Md., about 70 miles northwest of Baltimore, in response to reports of an active shooter at about 2:30 p.m., but the man had already fled, the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies found three people dead and one person in critical condition at Columbia Machine, a company based in Vancouver, Wash., the sheriff’s office said. Officials from the company did not immediately respond to phone calls and emails.

Maryland State Police found the suspect based on a description, leading to an exchange of gunfire that injured both the suspect and a trooper, the sheriff’s office said. The conditions of the suspect and the trooper were not immediately available.

The sheriff’s office said that federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, were helping in the investigation,

The authorities did not say whether the suspect or victims worked at the plant.

Columbia Machine is a private company founded in 1937 that designs, manufactures and supports “factory automation equipment solutions for a variety of industries” and does business in more than 100 countries, the company said in a 2019 news release.

The shooting came after a series of recent high-profile mass killings, including one in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, N.Y.

Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland said in a statement Thursday evening that he was “devastated” by the shooting.

“Today’s horrific shooting comes as our state and nation have witnessed tragedy after tragedy, and it’s got to stop,” he said. “We must act to address the mass shootings and the daily toll of gun violence on our communities.”



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