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Maryland Rite Aid shooting is third workplace shooting in 24 hours

A software company in Middleton, Wisc. A municipal building in Masontown, Pa. And now, a distribution center in Aberdeen.

In the space of 24 hours, three disparate workplaces in the U.S. have been shattered by gunfire.

“Three workplace active shooting attacks in just the last 24 hours should spark outrage in every American,” former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords said in a statement Thursday. Giffords was shot in the head at a “Congress on Your Corner” event outside a grocery store in the Tucson area in 2011 and has become an anti-gun violence activist.

“If gun violence feels like it's become an everyday occurrence, that's because it is,” she said. “But every time you hear news of another shooting, remind yourself that this level of gun violence is not normal. No other developed nation experiences this kind of daily heartbreak and horror.”

She called on voters to elect representatives who will pass stronger gun control laws.

Around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, workers at their desks at WTS Paradigm in Middleton, a suburb of the state capital of Madison, were started by sounds of gunfire.

Police say a 43-year-old employee, armed with a semi-automatic pistol and extra ammunition, opened fire on his coworkers. Three were listed in serious condition and one had a graze wound.

The man, who had worked at the company for about 1½ years, was killed by officers responding to the scene. Police have not released the name of the man or a possible motive.

Then, around 2 p.m., in Masontown, Pa., about 50 miles south of Pittsburgh, a man who was scheduled for a hearing on domestic violence charges opened fire just outside a judge’s office, police said. He was shot and killed by police.

Four people including a police officer were shot, and were listed in good or fair condition.

The suspect, Patrick Dowdell, 61, had a preliminary hearing scheduled on domestic charges of strangulation, aggravated assault and terroristic threats from an incident several weeks ago.

According to local news reports, his wife said he tried to choke her and threatened to kill her and others after she told him she wanted a divorce.

On Thursday morning, just after 9 a.m., gunfire rang out at the Rite Aid distribution center in an Aberdeen business park.

Officials say a temporary employee killed three co-workers and injured three others before killing herself.

jean.marbella@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jean_marbella

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