Maryland authorities say 3 dead, 1 injured after shooting at manufacturing plant


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Three people were killed and one person was injured Thursday at a Maryland manufacturing plant and the suspected gunman and a state trooper were also injured during a gunfire exchange, authorities said. 

Deputies with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Columbia Machine factory in Smithsburg around 2:30 p.m. amid reports of an active shooter. 

“Units immediately responded and located 4 victims, 3 of which were deceased at the scene and one who was critically injured,” the sheriff’s office said. 

Authorities did not give an update on the fourth victim’s condition. 

The suspect fled prior to the arrival of authorities but was spotted by the Maryland State Police. A shootout ensued and the gunman and a trooper were injured, authorities said. Both were taken to a hospital for medical treatment. 

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A Washington County Sheriff’s Office patrol car. There were multiple people injured Thursday during a shooting.
(Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland)

Сolumbia Machine produces molds and production equipment, according to its website. Fox News has reached out to the factory. A sheriff’s office official said investigators have not determined the suspect’s motive or if he worked at the plant. 

Authorities have disclosed any information about the victims. 

After the shooting, a local hospital was also placed on lockdown at 3:50 p.m. local time. 

“Meritus Medical Center is on lockdown as of 3:50 p.m., Thursday due to a community emergency. That means no patients, visitors or staff may leave at this time, and we are only allowing patients experiencing a medical emergency,” the hospital said in a Facebook post. 

U.S. Rep. David Thorne, D-Md., said he was monitoring the situation. 

“Our office is in contact with officials on the ground. If you’re local, please stay away from the area as law enforcement responds,” he tweeted. 

U.S. Sen.Chris Van Hollen, also a Maryland Democrat, said he was monitoring the incident and reached out to local officials to offer support. 

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives office in Baltimore and the FBI responded to the scene.

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