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Three dead, one injured in shooting at Maryland factory: Sheriff

Oliver Helbig/Getty Images

(SMITHSBURG, Md.) -- Three people are dead and one critically injured after a shooting at a factory in Smithsburg, Maryland, Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

The alleged gunman was wounded in an ensuing shootout with state police, authorities said.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said it responded to reports of an active shooter at Columbia Machine at around 2:30 p.m. and found the victims.

The alleged shooter had fled the scene and was apprehended by Maryland State Police in nearby Hagerstown based on a description of the suspect, the sheriff's office said.

The suspect and a state trooper exchanged gunfire, and both were injured and transported for medical treatment, the sheriff's office said.

The sheriff's office said the weapon used at both scenes was a semi-automatic handgun.

The deceased victims were identified as Mark Alan Frey, 50; Charles Edward Minnick Jr., 31, and Joshua Robert Wallace, 30, the Washington County Sheriff's Office said.

The fourth victim who was injured was identified as 42-year-old Brandon Chase Michael.

The suspect, whom authorities said was a 23-year-old Hispanic man who lives in West Virginia, remains in custody, and his identity will not be released until charges are filed.

Maryland State Police said the injured trooper is a 25-year veteran of the department assigned to the Criminal Enforcement Division Western Region, and that he's not being identified at this time. He was transported to Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown, where he was treated and released, state police said.

"There is no confirmed active threat to the community in relation to this incident," the Washington County Sheriff's Office said.

The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting in the investigation.

Washington County Sheriff spokesperson Sgt. Carly Hose said the alleged shooter is a man, though no additional information on the suspect or a possible motive was released.

Hose could not confirm the employment status of the suspect or victims.

Columbia Machine manufactures concrete products equipment. Smithsburg is about 70 miles northwest of Washington, D.C.

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