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Employees charged with murder in Maryland workplace shooting

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June 11 (News) — An employee has been charged with triple murder in a shooting at a Maryland workplace that killed three people.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office listed three counts each of first and second-degree murder for Joe Louis Esquivel, 23, of Hedgesville, W.Va., in a Facebook post.

According to the Post, Esquivel was being held without bail at the Washington County Detention Center. Other charges against him included assault, attempted murder, reckless endangerment, loaded pistol in vehicle and loaded pistol on person.

He was employed at a warehouse in Smithsburg, Md., for Columbia Machine, police said. The global company makes plants for concrete products, according to its website.

Esquivel shot four coworkers Thursday at the warehouse, three fatally, according to a statement by the Maryland State Police.

About 15 minutes after the shooting at the facility, Esquivel fired multiple shots at state troopers. shoot and hurt one and was hit in return fire, according to a preliminary investigation, the state police statement said.

The injured state trooper, a 25-year veteran of the department, was treated for his injuries and released, the statement added.

The statement said that based on state police protocol, the soldiers involved in the shooting will be transferred to administrative duty pending the completion of an investigation.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office will conduct the homicide investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI will assist.

A motive for the shooting has yet to be determined, Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore told reporters at a news conference.

Mullendore identified the victims killed as Mark Alan Frey, 50; Charles Edward Minnick Jr., 31; and Joshua Robert Wallace, 30.

Mullendore said the injured victim was Brandon Chase Michael, 42.

The incident is the 254th mass shooting this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, and comes amid calls for an end to gun violence, prompting protests.

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