Harford County is again in mourning following another horrific workplace shooting – the second in 11 months – this one Thursday morning at a Rite Aid distribution facility in Perryman.
Police said four people were killed, three employees and the shooter, a 26-year-old woman who was a temporary employee and who shot herself to death. Three others were injured. Police haven’t said anything about a motive, and as of Friday morning, they are still very much into their investigation of the incident.
The shootings prompted a massive response from police agencies in Harford County and around the region, as well as from emergency medical services equipment and personnel. Unfortunately, lamented Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, who monitored the situation from a police radio in his office, the first responders in Harford have been getting plenty of real time experience.
“You’re always sad for the victims, the people who go to work, trying to make a living and end up not being able to come home at night to their families,” Glassman told Aegis staff member Erika Butler.
“You read about it and hear about and you see it in sleepy communities,” Glassman said. “it’s really spread into all communities across the country.”
Certainly to Harford County. Last October, three people were killed and two others seriously injured in a shooting at Advanced Granite Solutions in Edgewood. A man charged in the shootings, who was a former employee, is awaiting trial in Harford County after being convicted in Delaware for a non-fatal shooting later the same day.
In February 2016, two Harford County Sheriff’s Office deputies were shot to death by a homeless man who was in turn killed by responding police. It was the first time any sheriff deputy had been murdered in the line of duty since 1899. Each crime may have been unfathomable, but they have come in tragically rapid succession.
Trying to put all this killing and maiming into some kind of comprehensible perspective just doesn’t seem possible right now, if it ever will. We’ve always considered Harford County a relatively safe and secure place, but as County Executive Glassman suggests, no place is immune to violence, which seemingly can strike at any time.
Asked why Harford? at another press conference Friday morning, Gahler said: “...it’s a state of where we are as a people...as a people we have lost respect for human life.” To deliberately harm “defenseless people,” he said, “is something I am never going to understand.
All we can do is try to prepare, be ever vigilant and extend our sympathies and prayers to Thursday’s victims and their loved ones – and hope upon hope there won’t be any more of this madness, at least not in our community,