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Sheriff: Columbia Machine, Inc. gunman opened fire in break room leaving three co-workers dead

Columbia Machine, Inc.
Posted at 5:55 PM, Jun 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 08:45:57-04

SMITHSBURG, Md. — We're learning more about a workplace shooting in Western Maryland Thursday that left three employees dead and three others, including a Maryland State trooper and the gunman injured.

It happened around 2:30pm at Columbia Machine, Inc. in Smithsburg.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office said 23-year-old Joe Louis Esquivel was on a regularly scheduled shift, when he went to get a gun from his vehicle and opened fire on multiple co-workers inside the company break room.

RELATED: 3 dead, trooper wounded in shooting at Western Maryland business

Three employees died including, 50-year-old Mark Alan Frey, 31-year-old Charles Edward Minnick Jr., and Joshua Robert Wallace, 30.

A fourth worker, 41-year-old Brandon Michael, was left injured.

Esquivel then fled the scene in his Mitsubishi Eclipse but was quickly tracked down by three Maryland State troopers at Mapleville Road.

Police say Esquivel rammed his car into one of the police cruisers before firing shots through his own windshield, wounding Detective Sergeant Phillip Martin.

At least one trooper returned fire striking Esquivel.

The other two troopers involved have been identified as Lieutenant Vincent Upole and Master Trooper David Thompson, although it's still unclear which of them shot Esquivel.

A search warrant of Esquivel's West Virginia home, led to the recovery of additional firearms.

Esquivel is currently being held without bond. He faces 25 charges including three counts of first and second degree murder, and three counts of attempted murder.

Joe Louis Esquivel
Joe Louis Esquivel

Sergeant Martin has since been released from the hospital.