For people who work at a Rite Aid distribution center in Aberdeen, Maryland Thursday was a really bad day at the office. Before the local authorities were dispatched to the distribution center around 9:09 a.m. a woman who worked there went inside the building and killed three people before she ended her own life. The situation that saw the loss of four lives including the shooter herself also saw several more people wounded. The woman responsible for the attack that took place at the Rite Aid distribution center was a 26 year old temporary employee who worked at the north eastern Maryland location. Before she succumbed to self inflicted injuries and died later in the day the suspect had been in critical condition according to the Hartford County Jeffrey Gahler. The womans name was not immediately released.
Hours after she went into the Rite Aid distribution center and killed three people while wounding several others, authorities have been able to determine that only one weapon was used. The only weapon that was fired this morning was a 9 mm Glock that was registered in the name of the shooter. None of the responding officers who arrived at the scene of this mornings shooting fired their own weapons. A motive for the shooters actions remains unknown at the time of this writing.
33 year old Maryland resident Krystal Watson spoke to members of the associated press and informed them that her husband Eric is an employee at the facility. She reported that her husband told her the shooter had gotten into an argument with another employee near a time clock after a Town Hall Meeting, before she “went off.” According to what her husband told her Krystal Watson said that the shooting began in the break room. It is believed that the shooter did not have a specific target or set of targets in mind and only fired at people indiscriminately as she entered their vicinity.
Hospitals that are near where the shooting occured reported that they received five patients from the incident that took place this morning. Two of the four people who were taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore were in stable condition while the other two were considered seriously injured. All four of them were treated for gunshot wounds. Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware reported that the one patient they received from the incident that occured this morning was in serious condition.
The 911 call came in at just after 9:06 a.m. this morning that alerted local authorities that help were needed at the Rite Aid distribution center where the shooting was taking place. In a situation where it was seconds that count the most and not minutes it took the officers who arrived on the scene first a little over five minutes to get there. That means for five minutes the people inside the Rite Aid distribution facility had to survive on their own without any help able to get to them.
A nearby fire station became the meeting place where people were able to try to reconnect with their loved ones who worked at the Rite Aid distribution center.
A communications director for the sheriff’s office reported that authorities were in the process of clearing the facility. Christie Hopkins said, “we obviously need to methodically go through the entire complex, ensure there are no other victims inside, ensure that there is no one that was hiding from violence and ensure that there were no other suspects. At this time, we are confident that the suspect acted alone. And that person is in custody. We do not believe there is any further threat to the community now, but we still have to completely clear that building.”
The attack at the Rite Aid distribution center that occured today comes at a sensitive time for the residents of Maryland as many in the state are still healing from an attack that took place at a newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland just three months ago.