A grand jury has sentenced the West Virginia man accused of shooting and killing three co-workers at a Maryland machine shop and then shooting and wounding a state trooper who was responding to the incident.
Joe Louis Esquivel, 23, of Hedgesville, West Virginia, was indicted June 29 in two separate criminal cases, including counts of murder, attempted murder, assault and use of a firearm in a violent crime, reported Christine Remsburg, Assistant State’s Attorney for Washington County, Maryland.
Authorities say Esquivel arrived June 9 for his normal shift at Columbia Machine Inc. in the rural community of Smithsburg in western Maryland. He allegedly worked until he left the building to retrieve a gun, went back inside and shot employees near a break room.
Smithsburg police responding to a 911 call found an injured person outside the business. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office announced that deputies found three gunshot victims inside, all dead.
Esquivel left the scene in a car and encountered Maryland State Police. A 25-year veteran soldier was shot when police said Esquivel fired at the soldiers. At least one police officer returned fire, wounding the suspect, state police said.