HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — People gathered at a church in Hagerstown, Maryland, on Sunday to pray for the lives lost during a mass shooting at a manufacturing plant in Smithsburg, Maryland.
The prayer vigil for the victims of the mass shooting at Columbia Machine was held at the Shiloh United Methodist Church at 2 p.m. on Sunday.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Storms Possible
Authorities say that 23-year-old Joe Louis Esquivel gunned down 50-year-old Mark Alan Frey, 31-year-old Charles Edward Minnick, and 30-year-old Joshua Robert Wallace at Columbia Machine on Thursday.
A fourth employee was injured during the shooting.
State troopers tracked down Esquivel’s vehicle near the corner of Mapleville and Mt. Aetna Roads in Hagerstown and a confrontation ensued, Maryland State Police said. The suspect opened fire at the state troopers, striking one of them, and he was shot when they returned fire.
Esquivel faces over two dozen charges including three counts of first- and second-degree murder, three counts of attempted first-degree murder and a slew of assault and firearms-related offenses.
Shiloh United Methodist Church Rev. Dionne Hall said that the vigil aimed to offer hope to the community.READ MORE: Early Voting For Maryland Primary Begins
“What’s gonna happen is we’re going to walk together,” Dionne Hall, a reverend at the Shiloh United Methodist Church, said. “We’re not gonna leave each other to suffer alone.”
An advance notice of the prayer vigil invited people to come together to support the loved ones of the gunshot victims.
“As a community, we can offer prayers and support to the families and friends of the victims, as well as those who were wounded, and pray for healing for our community and our country,” the notice said.
Some of the gunshot victims attended churches in the Smithsburg area.
Trinity Lutheran Church Pastor Virgil Cain noted that the state trooper who was injured during the shooting was a lifelong member of his congregation.MORE NEWS: National Weather Service Confirms EF-1 Tornado Hit Bowie, Second Tornado In Anne Arundel County
“I spent time in his home,” Cain said. “I confirmed his son. I sat with him as his wife had surgery. I’ve sat with their family as their mother had surgery. We’ve been through quite a bit through the years.”