BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland State Police on Monday identified the three state troopers who apprehended Joe Louis Esquivel, the 23-year-old West Virginia man accused of shooting four co-workers, killing three of them, at the Columbia Machine plant in Smithsburg last week.
Esquivel allegedly left the facility after working a full shift and retrieved a semi-automatic handgun from his vehicle before entering a break room and opening fire, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said last week.READ MORE: Man Arrested In Downtown Baltimore Shooting, Police Say
Det. Sgt. Phillip Martin is the trooper who was shot and wounded trying to stop Esquivel after he left the plant on June 9, police said Monday.
Lt. Vincent Upole, commander of the Rockville Barrack, and Master Trooper David Thompson, a member of Hagerstown Barrack, also encountered Esquivel shortly after 2:45 p.m., about 15 minutes after the shooting, police said.
According to a preliminary investigation, Esquivel was heading south on Maryland Route 66 in a burnt orange Mitsubishi Eclipse as the three troopers approached from the north in separate patrol cars.
The troopers tried to block his path in the area of Mapleville and Mount Aetna roads when Esquivel allegedly accelerated, hitting one of the cars.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Tornado Warning Issued For Anne Arundel County
According to police, Esquivel allegedly fired at the troopers through the windshield of his vehicle, striking Martin. At least one of the troopers shot back and hit Esquivel, police said.
Martin, who’s assigned to the Criminal Enforcement Division Western Region, received treatment at Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown, Maryland and was released on Thursday.
Esquivel was taken to the same hospital for treatment. Police said a handgun was recovered at the scene of the encounter.
The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit is investigating the shooting of Esquivel. As per department protocol, the participating troopers will be placed on administrative duty until the investigation is completed, the agency said.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting at the plant, with help from the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.MORE NEWS: Mayor Recognizes Achievements Of Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Amid Grade-Fixing Allegations
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.