Workers charged in fatal shooting in breakroom at Maryland factory

A Maryland factory worker accused of killing three co-workers and wounding two others in a shooting Thursday has been charged with dozens of crimes, including murder, authorities said on Friday.

Joe Louis Esquivel, 23, of Hedgesville, WV, was afflicted with a series of murders, attempted murders, assault and weapons charges in connection with the Smithsburg massacre, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

He was behind bars without bail as of Friday night, officials said.

Esquivel went to his car to retrieve a gun after working a full shift at Columbia Machine, Inc. on Thursday. According to authorities, he returned to the concrete goods factory’s break room and reportedly opened fire on colleagues around 2:30 p.m.

Following the alleged murder of Mark Frey, 50; Charles Minnick Jr., 31; Joshua Wallace, 30, and another colleague seriously injured, Esquivel fled in his Mitsubishi Eclipse before being stopped by state police about 10 miles away, police said.

police cars
Esquivel is now behind bars and being held without bond.

A shootout with two Maryland State Troopers ensued. Esquivel reportedly punched one of them, and he was shot dead when they returned fire, officials said. Both were hospitalized and were expected to survive.

A search of the alleged killer’s West Virginia home turned up more firearms, sheriffs said.

The identity and condition of the injured Columbia Machine worker have not been released. Workers charged in fatal shooting in breakroom at Maryland factory


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