Monday 21 January 2019

Woman (26) is suspect in shooting that left four people dead in Maryland - Police

Authorities respond to a shooting in Harford County, Maryland
(Jerry Jackson /The Baltimore Sun via AP)
Authorities respond to a shooting in Harford County, Maryland (Jerry Jackson /The Baltimore Sun via AP)

Kathy Armstrong and David McFadden

Four people, including the suspect, have died and several others are injured following a shooting in Maryland, the local sheriff's office has confirmed.

The shooting happened at the Rite Aid distribution business in the Spesutia and Perryman area of Harford at around 9am local time.

Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler, of the Harford Sheriff County's Office, said at press conference this afternoon that there were multiple victims, including several fatalities.

Sheriff Gahler said: "Another tragic event in Harford County, I want to thank everyone for their patience.

"Unfortunately, we've been standing here before, I want to offer the thoughts and prayers to all at Harford Sheriff County's Office to all of those affected."

He said that a lone suspect, a 26-year-old woman, has died. It appears the the suspect was temporarily employed at the Rite Aid distribution centre where the shooting took place though police have not established a motive at this time.

It appears there was only one weapon, a handgun, that was used and there were no shots fired by responding law enforcement officers, Mr Gahler said.

He stressed that while the investigation is still in the early stages, he does not believe there is an addition threat to the community.

A Baltimore hospital said it had received four patients with gunshot wounds from the shooting. Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Centre spokeswoman Monica Stone said that she was unable to provide details about the patients' conditions.

Mr Gahler said the call about shots fired came in from the Rite Aid distribution centre at about 9:06am and deputies and other officers were on the scene in just over five minutes.

"We are so preliminary in this investigation," Mr Gahler said. "It's so important that we deal in facts."

He said authorities do not want to "make it worse" for the families involved by giving out incorrect information.

At a nearby fire station, family members were waiting to be reunited with loved ones. Police blocked off the road outside but were waving in cars driven by people who said they were there to meet up with people who were at the distribution centre.

The FBI's Baltimore field office earlier tweeted that it was responding and assisting the sheriff's office with an "active shooter" situation.

The Baltimore field division of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives tweeted that its special agents were responding too.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has extended his sympathies to those affected by the shooting.

He said: "We are closely monitoring the horrific shooting in Aberdeen. Our prayers are with all those impacted, including our first responders.
"The State stands ready to offer any support."

Susan Henderson, spokesman for the store chain Rite Aid, said the shooting happened on the campus of a company distribution centre in Aberdeen. She described it as a support facility adjacent to a larger building.

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman said that unfortunately, incidents like this are "becoming a too-often occurrence not only in Harford County but in the country".

The attack came nearly three months after a man armed with a shotgun attacked a newspaper office in Annapolis, Maryland, killing five staff members.

Authorities accused Jarrod W Ramos of attacking The Capital Gazette because of a longstanding grudge against the paper.

  • More to follow...
  • With additional  reporting from PA

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