ABERDEEN (AFP) – A woman opened fire with a handgun on Thursday at the warehouse where she worked in the eastern US state of Maryland, killing three people and wounding another three in the country s latest mass shooting, police said.
The suspect — a 26-year-old identified as Snochia Moseley — died after shooting herself in the head, Harford County Sheriff Jeff Gahler told reporters.
Gahler said Moseley was a temporary employee at the distribution center for the Rite Aid drugstore chain in Aberdeen, Maryland.
“We do not have a motive for this senseless crime,” he said, but terrorism did not appear likely.
The sheriff said the three wounded victims were hospitalized and were expected to survive.
He did not release the names of any of the victims pending notification of their families.
Mass shootings are common in the United States but the vast majority involve men and the Aberdeen incident is a rare mass shooting carried out by a woman.
Gahler said Moseley lived in Baltimore County and the handgun she used in the attack, a 9mm Glock, was registered under her name.
He said she was armed with the single handgun and several magazines.
He described how the woman turned up for work around 9:00 am (1300 GMT) and the shooting began just minutes later. He said people were shot both inside and outside the Rite Aid warehouse.
Police responded within five minutes to reports of gunfire but Gahler said no shots were fired by law enforcement.
“We got completely bombarded by — I m not exaggerating — 20-30 cops, and then ambulances and everything started pouring in,” a witness told WBAL-TV.
Andre Cedeno, 30, told The Baltimore Sun that his sister, Lea, was at the Rite Aid facility and he rushed there from his own workplace after he heard of the shooting.
“She had a panic,” Cedeno said, and hid in a bathroom. “It s crazy that people don t respect life.”
The incident is the latest in an epidemic of gun violence that has struck schools and workplaces across the United States, where the right to bear arms is protected by the US constitution.
Attacks by women, however, account for less than five percent of the total, according to law enforcement officials and academics.
Thursday s attack came five months after an Iran-born female animal rights activist gunned down three people before killing herself at YouTube s California headquarters.
Maryland made grim headlines around the world in June when five employees of the Capital-Gazette died after a gunman stormed their Annapolis newsroom.
The man police say is responsible had harassed Capital-Gazette employees for years over an article about criminal stalking charges against him.