Baltimore police have confirmed that an unarmed security officer guarding a polling drop box location was the target of a shooting Thursday morning.
City police said officers were called around 4:55 a.m. to the 2200 block of Pinewood Avenue to investigate a reported shooting. Officers found a 24-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds. He was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Election officials said, at last check, the victim was in serious but stable condition.
“Our prayers go out to the victim of this situation,” Baltimore City Elections Director Armstead Jones said.
“I really feel bad for that guy and really hope he gets well and in a safe and fast manner,” said Officer Parks, a security guard with Metropolitan Protective Service.
Police said investigators believe the incident may have been an attempted robbery. The victim was working the midnight to 8 a.m. shift for a security company as an unarmed guard tasked with keeping watch over an election ballot box at the Achievement Academy location.
After looking at video surveillance footage of the parking lot, detectives learned that armed subjects approached the victim’s vehicle and tried to open the door. The victim refused and the suspects began shooting at the victim.
The ballot box was not touched and did not appear at any time to be the focus of the gunmen.
“I believe that these locations are safe. I think this had a situation where we had a situation that was beyond our control,” Jones said.
Jones said the state requires ballot boxes have video security or be watched by security guards. He wouldn’t give specifics but said the Board of Elections is taking additional measures to keep the guards safe. Other guards say they are now on alert.
“Watch out for my surroundings and that’s basically what I can do,” Parks said.
Jones said the ballot boxes are still a safe way to make sure your vote is counted.
“(It’s) just basically a shame where we’re living in a time where a person can’t be minding their own business, making an honest wage and someone does something like they did here today,” Jones said.
The Maryland State Board of Elections released a statement, saying: “Our thoughts are with the victim of this morning’s tragic shooting as well as his loved ones. We are actively cooperating with the authorities investigating this matter.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 410-396-2444 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 866-7LOCKUP.