- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 9, 2022

Three people died in a shooting at a Western Maryland manufacturing plant.

A state trooper was injured while apprehending the suspected attacker on Thursday afternoon, Gov. Larry Hogan and law enforcement officials said.

Multiple media outlets reported that the suspect, not immediately identified by police, opened fire at Columbia Machine Inc. in Smithsburg, a town about 75 miles west of Baltimore, early in the afternoon.

During a press briefing, Mr. Hogan called it an “ongoing situation” and said “we don’t have all the facts.”

Authorities said deputies responded to the scene around 2:30 p.m. News photographs showed law enforcement presence, including emergency vehicles, at the scene.

Sgt. Carly Hose of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office told the Hagerstown Herald-Mail that when sheriff’s office deputies arrived at the plant they found four gunshot victims, three of whom were dead. The survivor was taken to a hospital, she said. She could not confirm the hospital or the victim’s condition.

The male suspect fled before the sheriff’s office arrived, Sgt. Hose said. A state police trooper encountered the suspect not far from the shooting site.

In a Facebook Live video, a neighbor recorded the end of an intense police pursuit and described how the suspect tried to flee after his car stopped. A long volley of shots could be heard around 3 p.m.

Police have not confirmed the total number of victims or their injuries.

Located about 10 miles east of Hagerstown, Smithsburg is a rural community close to the Maryland-Pennsylvania border.

Columbia Machine offers “complete equipment lines to customers in over 100 countries,” according to the company’s website. Sgt. Hose said the manufacturing plant is near a day care center housed in the Smithsburg Valley Baptist Church. The center was put on lockdown during the incident and none of the children was harmed, according to the Herald-Mail website.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

• Sean Salai can be reached at ssalai@washingtontimes.com.

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