WASHINGTON (AFP) - A police manhunt was under way on Wednesday (Oct 18) for a gunman who stormed a suburban Maryland business park, killing three people and injuring two others before escaping.
With the shooter at large several area schools were placed on lockdown, officials said, while the nearby set of popular Netflix show House Of Cards was also reportedly locked down.
The suspect, 37-year-old Radee Prince, was associated with the granite business in Edgewood, north-east of Baltimore, where the shootings took place according to Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler.
"This does appear to be a targeted attack, limited to that business," Gahler said as he confirmed there were three dead and two other victims who were transported to trauma centers in serious condition.
Police were investigating Prince's connection with the business, known as Advanced Granite Solutions. All five victims were employees of the business, Gahler said.
While the sheriff told reporters that investigators do not believe anyone else was involved, "there's an individual out there on the loose who committed one of the most heinous acts we've ever seen in our county." "We certainly consider him armed and dangerous," he said.
Variety magazine reported that the set of House Of Cards, which is partly filmed in Maryland, was placed on lockdown while police searched for the shooter.
The executive producer of the series, Dana Brunetti, addressed the incident in a Facebook post, and criticised cable networks for not immediately reporting it.
"Shooting near House of Cards set," Brunetti wrote. "I turn on the news to see what is happening, and guess what they're covering? Not the 5 dead and 3 wounded while gunman is still on the loose."
Some of the school lockdowns were later lifted, according to Harford County Public Schools.
The incident was the latest mass shooting in a country where such killings have become commonplace.
On Oct 1, a gunman in an upper-floor casino hotel room opened fire on concert-goers in Las Vegas, killing 58 and wounding more than 500 in the deadliest shooting in recent US history.
To date in 2017 there have been 285 mass shootings - defined as four or more people shot or killed, not including the shooter - in the United States, or nearly one per day.