Social Security Worker Shot While on Stroll Near Woodlawn Campus

… Victim attacked while walking on wooded path …

By Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun

7:26 PM EDT, October 3, 2011

An employee taking a lunchtime stroll during a break from his job at the Social Security Administration headquarters in Woodlawn was robbed and shot on a secluded wooded path on Monday, prompting officials to put the federal campus on lockdown.

The shooting occurred about 11:45 a.m. off Social Security property. Police said the victim walked or stumbled back toward the sprawling complex and collapsed on an access road near Woodlawn Drive and Parallel Road, near the entrance to the Social Security West building and a series of parking lots.

Detectives had not made any arrests as of Monday evening. The victim, whose name and age were not disclosed, was taken by ambulance to Sinai Hospital in Northwest Baltimore. Police said his injuries were not considered life threatening.

Police would not say what the victim did at Social Security, which employs up to 6,000 workers at the central office, located on Security Boulevard near the Baltimore Beltway, and at another building near Woodlawn Drive and Interstate 70.

Shortly after the shooting, officials sent an internal email warning workers of an “emergency lockdown.” The message from Commissioner Michael J. Astrue said that there had been “a shooting on the campus. The assailant is allegedly fleeing and is some distance away, but we’re erring on the side of safety for now.”

Baltimore County police quickly corrected the information, reporting that the shooting had occurred off campus, in the woods near a townhouse development called Walden Circle, which is just south on the other side of I-70.

Kia Green, a spokeswoman for the Social Security Administration, said the lockdown was lifted after about an hour. She declined to comment further and would not release any details about the victim or say for which division he worked.

A spokeswoman for the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents many of the Social Security workers in Woodlawn, also had no information on the victim.

“When it comes to employee safety, you can never be too cautious,” said the spokeswoman, Christina Erling, who works in Washington. “Our thoughts are with our fellow employee, and we wish him a speedy recovery.”

Baltimore County police would not say what, if anything, was taken from the victim or where in the body he had been shot.

Shortly after 3 p.m, Baltimore County police were called back to the Social Security Administration complex for a report of a suspicious package. Police said the package contained a pair of eyeglasses, and police were gone by 4 p.m.

Police said occupants of one building were briefly evacuated.

Copyright © 2011, The Baltimore Sun

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