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Maryland shooting: Female suspect named, four dead

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Snochia Moseley has been named by US authorities as the shooting suspect.

Police have named the woman who killed herself after fatally shooting three people, and injuring three others, at a warehouse in the US state of Maryland.

Harford County Sheriff Jeff Gahler named the shooting suspect as 26-year-old Snochia Moseley from Baltimore County. 

Sheriff Gahler said Moseley was a temporary employee at the distribution center for the Rite Aid pharmacy 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 hospitalised and were expected to survive.

He did not release the names of any of the victims pending notification of their families.

ATF police officer with a sniffing dog walks out the industrial complex Aberdeen.
ATF police officer with a sniffing dog walks out the industrial complex Aberdeen.
AAP

'Senseless crime'

"We do not have a motive for this senseless crime," he said, but terrorism did not appear likely.

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.

FBI agent walks on the road outside of the industrial business park, where several people had been shot, according with police reports.
FBI agent walks on the road outside of the industrial business park, where several people had been shot, according with police reports.
AAP

The Rite Aid centre, situated among warehouses in an industrial park, has nearly 1000 employees.

The centre processes products, including pharmaceuticals, for delivery to more than 2500 stores.

Agents from the Baltimore offices of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the FBI also responded, the agencies said.

Workplace grievance

He described how the woman turned up for work around 9:00 am 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."

Gun violence epidemic

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 are extremely rare, however, accounting 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 newspaper died after a gunman stormed their Annapolis office.

The man police say is responsible had harassed the newspapers' employees for years over an article about criminal stalking charges against him.

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