By Kanishka Singh and Dan Whitcomb
WASHINGTON -A gunman opened fire on his co-workers at a manufacturing facility in northern Maryland on Thursday, killing at least three people and critically wounding a fourth before being taken into custody after a shootout with police.
The 23-year-old assailant, who was not identified by police, was wounded in an exchange of gunfire with a Maryland state trooper while trying to flee in a car, Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore told a news conference.
Both the suspect and trooper were taken to a local hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds in the latest in a series of mass shootings to plague the United States.
Mullendore declined to elaborate on the circumstances or possible motives behind the attack but said the gunman and all of his victims were employees of Columbia Machine in Smithsburg, in northern Maryland near the Pennsylvania state line.
He said the shooter used a semi-automatic pistol handgun.
A Columbia Machine spokesperson said the company was cooperating with authorities in their probe into the shooting but declined to comment further.
The company supplies concrete manufacturing equipment to customers in over 100 countries, according to its website.
The Baltimore offices of the FBI and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said they were sending agents to the scene.
Late last month, an 18-year-old man opened fire at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 students and two teachers.
The killings in Uvalde and a mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York that left 10 people dead, have prompted new efforts in U.S. Congress to enact stricter federal gun control laws.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Editing by Lisa Shumaker, Bill Berkrot and Richard Pullin)