News that a shooting left multiple people dead may sound depressingly familiar, but the one outside Baltimore on Thursday is unique in at least one way: The shooter was female. Police say the 26-year-old woman, who has not been identified, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Harford County Sheriff Jeff Gahler said she was a temporary employee at the Rite Aid distribution center where the shooting took place, reports the Baltimore Sun. Police say the suspect killed three people, and three others remain hospitalized with wounds not believed to be life threatening. Details and developments:
- When, where: The Rite Aid distribution center where the shooting took place is at a business complex in Perryman, about 30 miles from Baltimore, reports WBAL. Deputies got there at 9:06am, within 5 minutes of the first call, said the sheriff. He said that deputies fired no shots and that the shooter used a 9mm Glock semiautomatic handgun.
- Why: Police aren't speculating about a motive. “Normally, she was a nice person, but she came in in a bad mood,” Mike Carre, an employee at a nearby business, tells the Washington Post, recounting what Rite Aid workers told him. "She wanted to pick a fight," he said. "And then she started shooting.” CNN quotes a law enforcement official who describes her as a disgruntled employee; the site says she worked there as a security guard. The woman lived in Baltimore County, and the gun was legally registered to her.
- Rare: Almost all mass shootings have been by men, though a woman shot three people and then killed herself at YouTube headquarters in April. At the time, Live Science wrote about what an anomaly it was. Female mass killers are "so rare that it just hasn't been studied," Loyola psychologist James Garbarino told the site. "There aren't enough cases." The 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino also involved a woman, but she was part of a couple who acted together.
- No. 3: By CNN's count, this is the nation's third mass shooting in a day. On Wednesday, three people were shot and wounded at an office complex in Middleton, Wisconsin, (latest details here) and four people were wounded by a gunman in the Masontown Borough Municipal Center in Pennsylvania (latest details here).
- Rite Aid statement: "We are continuing to work closely with authorities as they conduct their investigation," says spokesman Peter Strella. "The facility has been closed and we are assessing when it will be reopened. Grief counselors will be made available to our associates and will remain available as long as they are needed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those involved in this tragic incident, as well as their loved ones.”
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