Hagerstown church community gathers to pray for victims of Columbia Machine mass shooting – CBS Baltimore
HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — People gathered at a church in Hagerstown, Maryland, on Sunday to pray for the lives lost in a mass shooting at a manufacturing plant in Smithsburg, Maryland.
The prayer vigil for the victims of the Columbia Machine mass shooting was held at Shiloh United Methodist Church at 2 p.m. Sunday.
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Authorities say Joe Louis Esquivel, 23, shot dead Mark Alan Frey, 50, Charles Edward Minnick, 31, and Joshua Robert Wallace, 30, on Thursday at the Columbia Machine.
A fourth employee was injured in the shooting.
State troopers located 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 on the state troopers, hitting one, and he was shot when they returned fire.
Esquivel faces more than two dozen charges including three counts of first and second degree murder, three counts of attempted first degree murder and a host of assault and firearms offences.
Reverend Dionne Hall of Shiloh United Methodist Church said the vigil was meant to offer hope to the community.
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“What’s going to happen is we’re going to walk together,” said Dionne Hall, Reverend of Shiloh United Methodist Church. “We are not going to let ourselves suffer alone.
A notice of the prayer vigil urged people to come together in support of loved ones of gunshot victims.
“As a community, we can offer prayers and support to the families and friends of the victims, as well as those who have been injured, and pray for the healing of our community and our country,” the notice reads. .
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 in the shooting was a lifetime member of his congregation.
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“I spent time at his house,” Cain said. “I confirmed his son. I sat with him while his wife had surgery. I sat with their family while their mother had surgery. We’ve been through a lot over the years.