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Social Security HQ in Baltimore lifts lockdown; shooting nearby

WOODLAWN — A Social Security Administration employee who was on his lunch break was shot Monday during a robbery near the agency’s headquarters in suburban Baltimore, prompting a temporary lockdown of the complex as police searched for the gunman.

Police said they were called at 11:43 a.m. about a shooting in the woods behind the Social Security campus in Woodlawn, just west of the city of Baltimore. Police notified the agency, which locked down the campus because the suspect has not been caught. The lockdown ended around 2 p.m., said Social Security spokeswoman Kia Green, who said nearly 12,000 people work in the Woodlawn complex.

The victim, a male employee, suffered non-life-threatening injuries, the police said. He was being taken to Sinai Hospital of Baltimore.

The suspect is believed to have run away. It was not immediately clear what, if anything, he stole.

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.

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