Man Uses Truck To Ram Into WMAR-TV's Building; Search Underway For Suspect; School On Lockdown Begins To Dismiss
Story by CBS News
Baltimore County Police are at WMAR-TV on York Road after a man rammed his truck into the building. No injuries have been reported, and no suspect has been found.
Mike Hellgrenreports the man may be barricaded in the building. Police say there have not been any confirmed weapons.
Baltimore County Police spokesperson Elise Armacost says 55 people evacuated the building after it was rammed. Police initially said some employees may have sheltered in place, but WMAR’s news director Kelly Groft now says everyone is accounted for. She says when the truck began ramming the lobby, she screamed for everyone in the newsroom to leave.
Police cannot speculate on a motive, and the investigation is still active.
A SWAT team is surrounding the building and the perimeter has been expanded. Robots and dogs are being used in the investigation. When officers arrived, the suspect was not inside the vehicle and they have not located him. Police are calling it a “tactical barrier situation.”
Reporters at WMAR say the lobby is “smashed up.” Some employees are at a nearby shopping center.
The first call came in at around 11:45 a.m. as a disturbance. The suspect was banging on door trying to get in. Employees say the man referred to himself as “God.”
Within minutes, police received a second call for a truck in lobby. Police say the building was rammed several times.
People are being urged to stay away from the building, which has been evacuated.
WMAR anchor Jamie Costello toldWJZ’sDerek Valcourt, “I could see glass, the whole wall was going through. Then I could see the beginning of the truck. Everybody was in utter disbelief of what was going on right there at that second. I don’t know how in the world we got away with nobody getting hurt. I really don’t. Because that lobby is packed all the time…..We were attacked.”
St. Pius X school is nearby and was put on lockdown.
Students are starting to be dismissed by police and school officials.
This email was sent by the school’s principal to parents about dismissal:
“At this time, St. Pius X School is still on lockdown. We continue to communicate with Baltimore County Police and the Archdiocese of Baltimore. All of the students and staff continue to be safe. We are coordinating with the police to plan for dismissal. There will be NO After Care today because we need to have all students and staff dismissed while the police are able to assist with this. Because York Road continues to be shut down, we will be dismissing via Overbrook Road (the one way street to the north of Pius). We are asking if your child’s last name begins with A-L that you try to arrive beginning at 2:30 p.m. If your child’s last name begins with M-Z, we ask that you plan to arrive beginning at 3 p.m. We know that it travel time is necessary and we will continue to keep all students safe until someone arrives to pick them up.
When you drive onto Overbrook near St. Pius, please look for the police car and await instructions. Mrs. Ripley or Mrs. Dates will also be with the police to assist with dismissal. Once you arrive your student will be called to come down to you. Please do not get out of your car and try to come up to the school. This will slow down dismissal. The Police will be here to assist with this but this will require the patient and understanding of all. We will be calling students as you arrive. This will enable us to keep everyone safe and to dismiss.”
Parents are watching and waiting. One toldWJZ, “It’s a nightmare.”
WJZ-TV‘sMary Bubalaonce worked at WMAR-TV. She reports on how hard it would be to search the building. Watch video below.
Several WMAR employees have been taken to a nearby hotel to regroup and work.
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