The routine took a tragic turn at 9 in the morning of this Thursday at the distribution warehouse of the pharmacy chain Rite Aid in Aberdeen ( Maryland ). A 26-year-old woman, who was a temporary worker at the facility, killed three people and wounded three others.
The attacker used a gun and died after committing suicide after the shooting, Hartford County Sheriff Jeff Gahler told reporters.
The woman acted alone and the authorities have not yet been able to determine a motive. Everything seems to point to a labor dispute although it is unknown if he deliberately chose his victims.
It is very unusual in the United States for a woman to be responsible for a shooting. The attacker arrived at the workplace at his usual time, as if it were a normal day, but around 9 in the morning everything changed: he began to shoot shots both inside and outside the warehouse.
The authorities in Aberdeen, a municipality of some 13,850 inhabitants, received the first warning of shots at 09.06 local time and within five minutes a team of police officers had arrived.
The agents did not open fire. The attacker died in the hospital for “injuries caused by herself,” according to the sheriff. Of the other deaths, two died in the warehouse and one in the hospital. The police have declined, for now, to identify the gunner and her victims.
About 1,000 people work in the warehouse and it is not far from a military base in the same locality, located 55 kilometers north of Baltimore.
The governor of the State of Maryland, Larry Hogan, announced that he is closely monitoring the “horrible shooting in Aberdeen.” “Our prayers are with all those affected, including our emergency teams,” he said on Twitter.
The avalanche of deaths due to armed violence makes the United States an anomaly in the developed world. The Brady Campaign, an institution that calls for tougher sales controls, estimates that every day 96 people die in the country as a result of armed violence. About a third of them are killed.
There is not an exact figure of how many firearms are in the hands of civilians in the United States, but it is estimated that there are about nine per ten citizens. It is the highest proportion of the planet. The Congressional Research Service estimated in a 2012 study that there were some 310 million weapons three years earlier.