Three people were killed and one person was injured Thursday at a Maryland manufacturing plant by a co-worker who was also injured following a gunfire exchange with a state trooper, authorities said.
Joe Louis Esquivel, 23, of Hedgesville, West Virginia, went to work at the Columbia Machine factory in Smithsburg and worked his normal shift, authorities said Friday. At around 2:30 p.m., he left the building and retrieved a weapon from his car and went back in the plant and opened fire inside a break room, officials said.
The deceased victims were identified Thursday night as Mark Alan Frey, 50; Charles Edward Minnick Jr., 31; and 30-year-old Joshua Robert Wallace. The victim who was injured was identified as 42-year-old Brandon Chase Michael, authorities said.
After the shooting, Esquivel fled the scene in a Mitsubishi Eclipse before he encountered state troopers. A shootout ensued, injuring him and a trooper, authorities said. Both were taken to a hospital for medical treatment.
The injured trooper was not identified, but the Maryland State Police said he is a 25-year veteran of the department and is assigned to the Criminal Enforcement Division Western Region. He was treated for his injuries and released.
The troopers involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative duty until the investigation is complete, according to Maryland State Police protocol. Investigators recovered an unspecified semi-automatic handgun believed to have been used at both crime scenes.
Esquivel faces a slew of charges, including multiple counts of first and second-degree murder, assault, attempted murder, reckless endangerment and having a loaded handgun in a vehicle, among other charges.
He is being held at the Washington County Detention Center on no bond.
Сolumbia Machine produces molds and production equipment, according to its website. Fox News has reached out to the factory. Authorities have not disclosed a motive for the shooting.
After the shooting, a local hospital was also placed on lockdown at 3:50 p.m. local time that was lifted a few hours later.
U.S. Rep. David Trone, D-Md., said he was monitoring the situation as the chaos unfolded.
"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.