State prison officials say they are trying to determine if there had been a romance that caused a male officer at the Patuxent Institution to fatally shoot a female co-worker before turning the gun on himself.
Shortly before 8 a.m. yesterday, Lt. Eugene Kenneth Davis, 37, walked into a building at the medium-security prison in Jessup, went downstairs to the basement and confronted Lt. Vivian Zina Anderson, 38, said Greg Shipley, a state prison spokesman.
"He used a .38-caliber and shot her in the head and then turned the gun on himself and shot himself in the head," said Shipley.
Davis, a nine-year veteran, and Anderson, a 10-year veteran, both died on the scene, Shipley said. Their bodies were taken to the state medical examiner's office for autopsies.
No one else was injured.
Shipley would not confirm reports that Davis and Anderson had been involved romantically, and that Anderson had ended their relationship Saturday.
"We don't have any specific motive at this time," Shipley said.
Davis and Anderson were both residents of Severn in Anne Arundel County. Davis lived in the 7700 block of Telegraph Road, the Crestwood Mobile Home Park; Anderson lived in the 7900 block of Millstone Court.
Shipley said Davis gave no sign that he was going to shoot anyone when he entered the prison building yesterday to start his 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. shift.
Anderson had just finished her 12 a.m. to 8 a.m. shift, Shipley said, but Davis was not relieving her.
No inmates were present during the shootings, but several other guards were down the hall, Shipley said.
Normally, guards don't carry weapons while on duty, Shipley said.
"It appears he got the handgun from an arsenal" in the facility, Shipley said.
Following the shooting, there was a lockdown at the prison, and a Crisis Intervention Team arrived to counsel workers.
"They are there to advise them that the shooting will have an impact on them, although they feel they are correctional officers," Shipley said. "They should be aware of what it might do to them in terms of their feelings."