Shooting at Maryland Manufacturing Company Kills 3 and Injures 1, Police Say

Mark Frey, 50, Charles Edward Minnick, Jr., 31, and Joshua Robert Wallace, 30, died after a coworker allegedly fired shots at their job

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Michael Kunzelman/AP/Shutterstock (12979143a) Law enforcement vehicles block the road at the scene of a shooting at a Maryland business near Smithsburg, Md., on . A man opened fire at a manufacturing business in rural western Maryland on Thursday, killing multiple people before the suspect and a state trooper were wounded in a shootout, authorities said US--Shooting-Maryland, Smithsburg, United States - 09 Jun 2022
Photo: Michael Kunzelman/AP/Shutterstock

Three people are dead and one is injured after a gunman opened fire at his workplace, Maryland police say.

In a press conference Thursday evening, Sheriff Douglas Mullendore stated that the department was told of an active shooter at Columbia Machine Shop, Inc. in Maryland around 2:30 p.m. local time. Local officers and deputies from surrounding areas arrived at the scene shortly after "and located an injured subject outside the business in a field."

The suspected shooter left before police arrived, Mullendore said, adding: "Unit 3 relayed the information as far as the suspect's vehicle description and the suspect description."

The Maryland State Police Department then "encountered" the alleged shooter's car on Mapleville Rd., Route 66, Mullendore added. "The suspect and the trooper exchanged fire. Both subjects were injured, and both were transported to Meritus Medical Center for treatment.

He said all of the victims and the suspect worked at Columbia Machine.

Columbia Machine did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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Sharing the names and ages of the victims, Mullendore said: Mark Frey, 50, Charles Edward Minnick, Jr., 31, and Joshua Robert Wallace, 30.

Brandon Chase Michael, 42, is the name of the injured person who officers found outside once at the scene.

Wallace's girlfriend Taylor Toms mourned the loss on Facebook.
Joshua Wallace/FaceBook

"I'm so sorry to say that Joshua Wallace was one of the ones who was killed in todays shooting.. my heart is completely shattered. I lost the love of my life today. I love you so much baby, I hate this. Our future is gone, you're gone, I can't believe your gone. God I love you so much," she wrote alongside special photos of her and Wallace.

In the press conference, Mullendore said, "The suspect is in custody at the Meritus Medical Center. He's identified as a 23-year-old Hispanic male who resides in West Virginia." Mullendore said his name would not be released yet as he's "in the process" of being charged.

"The weapon used at both scenes was a semi-automatic handgun. The exact caliber, make and model is not being released at this time, it's part of the investigation. The motive of the shooting also has not been determined at this time. The investigation is ongoing," he said.

Sheriff Mullendore did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Lieutenant Colonel Bill Dofflemyer, Chief of the Criminal Investigation Bureau for the Maryland State Police Department, then approached the podium and gave an update as well.

He said that, when deputies arrived, they alerted other departments of the suspect's direction. Three troopers were approaching the scene "when they encountered a vehicle matching the description of the suspect's. When the troopers went to stop the vehicle, the suspect immediately started firing multiple rounds at the troopers. The troopers returned fire, striking the suspect. During a course of gunfire, one trooper did receive an injury from gunfire."

He confirmed both the suspect and trooper received treatment at a local hospital.

"The trooper is doing well, and the suspect is continuing to be treated," Dofflemyer said, adding that a handgun was "recovered within the vehicle." MSP and the Washington County Sheriff's Department are working together on the investigation, he said.

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