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by Mark Reutter7:05 amMar 21, 20240

Security questions raised by Baltimore County employee who killed himself inside a county building

A gun was smuggled into the Drumcastle Government Center and multiple shots were fired in connection with the 61-year-old’s suicide, police say

Above: The entrance to the Drumcastle Government Center is flanked by security notices and warnings about carrying guns. (Mark Reutter)

The death of a Baltimore County employee, who last month smuggled a handgun into a county building and killed himself, has put some employees on edge, raising questions about how the gun passed through security and metal detectors.

The death by suicide of Gary Lionel Williams, 61, was confirmed to The Brew by Baltimore County Police.

Other than a redacted police report, the incident remains under wraps, with the Olszewski administration declining to say how the gun evaded the building’s security system and what steps have been taken to increase safety for employees and the public.

According to police, Williams had missed two days of work as a clerk and janitor at the Drumcastle Government Center, which houses health, child protection, substance abuse and social services offices, when incoming co-workers heard music coming from his computer at 4:30 a.m. on Friday, February 23.

Shortly thereafter, Williams was found slumped in a chair in the sprinkler service access room in the basement.

Dispatched for a cardiac arrest, medics reported William dead with a single gunshot wound to the head. A handgun lay on the floor between his legs.

Police scoured the area. In addition to the casing of the fatal bullet, they located two more spent casings – one in the sprinkler room and the other outside the room – indicating that the gun had been discharged three times.

The 160-square-foot building is a former Caldor discount store converted to county offices in 2002. (Mark Reutter)

The 160-square-foot building is a former Caldor discount store that was converted to county offices in 2001. (Mark Reutter)

Siloing of Information

The former department store at 6401 York Road is frequented by hundreds of employees and members of the public.

Signs at the building’s entrance warn that “No Hoods, Masks or Weapons” are allowed in the building. All entrants must undergo metal detector screening.

The police report did not say how Williams slipped past security after-hours with a handgun, but noted that co-workers said he had “his own set of keys and was also the cleaning person for the building at night.”

Per standard procedure, the county’s Mobile Crisis Unit gathered employees together after the incident to allow those who wished to talk. They were also advised that the crisis unit would notify Williams family.

Other than that, county officials have done little to ease the nervousness of employees, an informed source told The Brew.

“If the person had turned his weapon on others, this could have been very serious,” the source said.

But rather than addressing the security breach head-on, there’s been a clamp-down and siloing of information, according to the source.

“Very few county employees are aware of the incident. And those who know, know they shouldn’t talk about it.”

Side view of the building's front entrance. (Mark Reutter)

The side of the front entrance has more warnings about possessing guns. (Mark Reutter)

Statement by County Executive

The office of County Executive Johnny Olszewski did not answer questions about whether there were early warnings of Williams’ state of mind or how his gun got into the workplace or what, if any, new security measures have been implemented.

Instead, the following was released last night to The Brew by spokeswoman Erica Palmisano.

“Following a tragic incident regarding the loss of a County employee, officials immediately provided mobile crisis response, communicated directly with employees, and continue to focus on providing assistance to employees following the shock and grief brought on by this tragic occurrence.

“Our thoughts remain with the deceased and their loved ones during this difficult time. Baltimore County continues to encourage anyone in crisis or distress to contact the national 988 hotline for professional and confidential support and crisis resources.”

To reach a reporter: reuttermark@yahoo.com

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