Joe Louis Esquivel has been identified as the Maryland plant worker accused of killing three co-workers and injuring two others. On Friday, officers charged Esquivel, 23, with murder, along with a list of other crimes.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office released the identity of Esquivel, a resident of Hedgesville, West Virginia, on Friday, June 10.
Authorities reported Thursday that Joe Louis Esquivel killed three people at a manufacturing plant in Smithsburg, Maryland. Although the facility was not really located in a populated area of the city, it was near several businesses and nearby farmland.
The motive for the shooting has not yet been released by the sheriff’s office.
Joe Louis Esquivel’s murderous rampage claimed three lives and injured others
Columbia Machine Inc., Maryland employee Joe Louis Esquivel reported to work as usual Thursday morning. He worked until the end of his shift, then went outside to grab a gun. When he came back inside, Esquivel fired on his colleagues who were in the factory break room.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that deputies responded to the shooting at Columbia Machine Inc. around 2:30 p.m. The factory where the attack took place is located in the 12900 block of Bikle Road, near high schools and colleges in Smithsburg.
The attack left three people dead, Mark Frey, 50, Charles Minnick Jr., 31, and Joshua Wallace, 30, and seriously injured others.
After the shooting, Esquivel escaped in his bronze Mitsubishi Eclipse before being arrested by state police about 10 miles away, authorities said.
When he was arrested by the police, a shootout between him and the Maryland State Troopers took place. Joe Louis Esquivel allegedly injured one of the state troopers and was also shot, officials said. Both the injured constable and the shooter were hospitalized.
Washington County Sheriff Doug Mullendore said Joe Louis Esquivel used a semi-automatic handgun recovered after the shooting.
A search warrant for the alleged shooter’s home in West Virginia revealed additional firearms, the sheriff said.
In addition to those killed, officials also identified those injured as Brandon Michael, 42, and the state trooper referred to as a “25-year veteran of the department.”
Speaking about the shooting, Brandon Michael’s father Nelson Michael said he was happy his son was alive. Nelson also maintained that he had no idea why the shooter had even carried out the attack.
“I say no more. I’m just glad my son is alive, and I feel so bad for other people’s families.”
Following the attack, company CEO Rick Goode issued a statement calling the deaths of three employees and the injury of a fourth “tragic”.
“Our top priority during this tragic event is the safety and well-being of our employees and their families.”
Joe Louis Esquivel has been charged with murder, attempted murder, assault and weapons in connection with the Smithsburg massacre, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said.
The shooter is currently being held without bail at the Washington County Detention Center. Meanwhile, a bail hearing for Joe Louis Esquivel is scheduled for Monday.