SSA employee shot on lunch break near agency headquarters

Monday - 10/3/2011, 3:19pm EDT

A Social Security Administration employee was robbed and shot on his lunch break Monday near the Woodlawn, Md. headquarters of the agency, Federal News Radio's sister station WTOP reports.

The campus was locked down after shots were fired, but the lockdown has been lifted.

The victim, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries, was taken to Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, police said.

Police said they received a call at 11:43 a.m. about the shooting in the woods near Walden Circle.

Baltimore County Police Det. Cathy Batton said the suspect was a black male, 5-foot 9-inches tall and a thin build. The suspect is believed to have run away.

Social Security Commissioner Michael J. Astrue told workers in an email that the agency was beefing up security in the parking lots and urged them to be careful as they left for home.

"All I know is we were in lockdown," said Crystal Meadows, who works in a supply warehouse as she walked to her car on the campus' sprawling parking lots. "They just said over the intercom that there's a lockdown, we can't go out of the building."

Meadows, of Middle River, said everyone was calm. "We just stayed and worked, we were working," said Meadows, 57. "I mean, we were in the building. They weren't going to get into the building."

Mike Belli, an information technology specialist, said he heard about the shooting when he came back from lunch and went inside when learned of the lockdown.

"It was very calm, everybody was just kind of wondering what the heck happened," Belli said.

WTOP and the Associated Press contributed to this story.


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