DUNDALK, Md. (WJZ) — Panicked moments in Baltimore County after a suspect holed himself up inside a business filled with employees. The police standoff lasted for hours, forcing a nearby school to lock down.
Kai Jackson explains it unfolded in a busy shopping center.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Severe Storm Threat Prompts Alert Day Saturday
The standoff has ended, but it was tense while it lasted.
Heavily armed officers with the Baltimore County Police SWAT team swarmed a business in Dundalk just off Northpoint Road.
Police say it started around 2:30 p.m. when a man caused some type of disturbance inside a K-Mart.
“He was only in the K-Mart for a short period of time when he fled and ran over to the nearby Colgate community,” said Elise Armacost, Baltimore County Police.
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Police say once in that neighborhood, he broke into a home but nobody was there. He fled again and then ended up at the Winner Distributing Company. Police say he ran into the building through the front door and refused to come out. About 45 employees were evacuated from the distributing plant.
“We thought something serious was going on and come to find out it was a hostage situation,” said Steven Dekowski.
Police eventually took the suspect into custody and determined later he had no hostages inside with him.
Police say while the suspect was holed up inside the distributing company, negotiators were in contact with him.
Nearby Colgate Elementary was locked down during the standoff and a safety perimeter–including closed roads–was established around the scene.
“It’s pretty shocking. Very close to home and I’ve lived in this area most all of my life,” said John Jozwiak.MORE NEWS: State Police Expand Traffic Enforcement On I-83 In Baltimore City
The roads reopened around 7 p.m. after the standoff ended.