Smithsburg Mass Shooting Victims: Names, Tributes & Photos

smithsburg mass shooting victims

Facebook Smithsburg mass shooting victims.

These are the victims of the Smithsburg mass shooting in Maryland.

They were mourned in social media tributes by loved ones who described them as good men.

The victims were named by the Washington County Sheriff’s Department as Mark Alan Frey, 50; Charles Edward Minnick Jr., 31; and Joshua Robert Wallace, 30. Brandon Chase Michael, 42, was wounded but survived. The gunman was identified as Joe Louis Esquivel.

You can see photos and tributes relating to each deceased victim later in this story.

On June 9, 2022, at approximately 2:30 p.m., the Washington County Emergency Communications Center “received a report of an active shooter at Columbia Machine Inc., 12912 Bikle Road, Smithsburg, MD,” the sheriff’s department said in a news release.

“Officers from the Smithsburg Police Department arrived on the scene first and located an injured victim outside of the business. As deputies arrived on the scene, 3 additional victims, all of whom were deceased, were located inside the business.”

The suspect fled, but his vehicle was later found in the area of Mapleville Road and Mount Aetna Road, according to authorities. “The suspect and the Troopers exchanged gunfire and the suspect and one Trooper were injured. Both survived and were transported for medical treatment,” the release indicated. “At this time, the Sheriff’s Office can confirm that all of the victims and the suspect were current employees of Columbia Machine, Inc.”

All of the victims were white males. “The suspect remains in law enforcement custody at Meritus Medical Center and was identified as a 23-year-old Hispanic male who resides in West Virginia. His identity will not be released until charging documents are filed,” the sheriff’s department wrote. “The weapon used at both scenes was a semi-automatic handgun. The exact caliber, make and model are also not being released at this time.”

In a second release, the department said, “The investigation into the incident thus far has revealed that the suspect arrived for his normal work shift at Columbia Machine, Inc. and worked throughout the day. Prior to the 911 call at approximately 2:30 PM, the suspect exited the building, retrieved a weapon from his vehicle, and reentered the business. The suspect proceeded to the area of the breakroom and begin to fire upon employees.”

The motive remains under investigation. The injured officer, whose name was not released, was treated and released at a local medical center, according to the release.

Here’s what you need to know about the victims:


Mark Frey

Frey’s Facebook page says that he had worked at Columbia Machine since 2019 and went to Smithsburg Senior High School. He was married.

“RIP Mark Frey! You were such a good guy!” a friend wrote. Another friend wrote on that comment thread, “I’m in shock! Such a wonderful man. His wife Angie, I couldn’t imagine.”

A woman wrote on Facebook:

As I lay here in bed trying to go to sleep I am thinking of my classmates wife! She will never hold her husband again, never be able to hear him say I love you and not have any more future plans with him!! I don’t know her but my heart breaks for her!! People want to know what happen, really??? Is there an acceptable answer?? It is completely senseless!! What happened to the days when you got pissed off you punched someone or screamed at them?? Shooting someone??? Killing 3 people??? I am sad for my classmates family, all those involved and my sweet little hometown!! Hold those you love a little tighter and say I love you to those you love, never know when it will be the last time! Rest In Peace Mark Frey, I pray for all those who love you!!


Joshua Wallace

Taylor Toms wrote on Facebook, “I’m so sorry to say that Joshua Wallace was one of the ones who was killed in today’s shooting.. my heart is completely shattered. I lost the love of my life today. I love you so much baby, I hate this. Our future is gone, you’re gone, I can’t believe your gone. God I love you so much.”

A GoFundMe page organized by Toms to help Wallace’s loved ones reads:

Joshua Robert Wallace, everyone calls me Josh. I love Hunting, Fishing & Loving Everyday with my girl by my side. I work my ass off everyday, long hours, lot of side jobs, & am the hardest worker there. June 9th I went into work like any other day, ready to take on the day. Only 2 more hours till I can clock out & start my weekend. When a man with a familiar face came in & shot me. Ending my beautiful life that I worked so hard for. Now my girl & Family are having to pick up all the pieces. This is not how this was supposed to end. This is for his expenses. Please consider

On Facebook, Wallace wrote that he worked at Columbia Machine, Inc., studied at Hagerstown Community College and lived in Clear Spring, Maryland.

Friends shared photos of him hunting and fishing. One wrote, “As hard as it is to inform everyone we lost a member today Joshua Wallace .. not just a great friend, but a wonderful Family member. You will be missed buddy, we had many camping, fishing trips and hunting trips planned, fly high brother, I know you’ll be hunting in heaven shoot us a monster while you’re up there I’ll see ya soon 🖤😓🙏🏼”


Charles Minnick Jr.

FacebookVictims of the mass shooting in Smithburg, Maryland.

According to his Facebook page, Charles Edward Minnick Jr. was married. He was from Wolfsville, Maryland, and studied at Middleton High.

He went by the name CJ. “C J was one of the good ones,” a friend wrote on his mother’s Facebook page.

A grieving relative wrote a lengthy tribute to Minnick:

291.

This is the number of mass shootings that have occurred in the US this year, so far, as of yesterday.

The shooting in Smithsburg, MD yesterday, killed my youngest cousin, Charles Edward Minnick Jr. He was a father and husband, a son, a brother. He was not just a number that will be easily forgotten when the next mass shooting takes place- which will very likely happen before the end of the day.

The best memories I have of CJ are of when he was very young. I had been the youngest cousin for a long time and quite frankly hated being the youngest. I always wanted a baby brother…mostly, I think, because I wanted someone smaller than me that I could boss around. Eventually, I got Heidi, who replaced me as holding the title of the cutest little girl in the world and later, I got Josh and CJ- two baby boys that I could do with as I pleased.

Luckily, I had grown some by then and instead of me pushing them around, they could pretty much get me to do anything for them. CJ was an adorable baby. And I don’t say this lightly…his chubby cheeks, dimples, massive blue eyes, and ridiculously long eye lashes could get him just about whatever he wanted. He was a sweet baby, and a gentle, loving child.

I can only think now of his own baby…who looks so very much like CJ did. She has now lost her father, so young, to an act of gun violence.

He is not just a number.

None of the people we’ve lost are.

I will do whatever I can to make sure that is not the case…to make sure they are remembered for the humans they were and the dreams that could have been. And I will do whatever in my power to make sure that unnecessary tragedies such as these don’t keep occurring.

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