A private security officer at the Ramada Inn in Baynesville was shot and killed early this morning during what police presume was a botched robbery.
Baltimore County police said John Harold Bowling, 42, of the 1400 block of Mirable Way in Pasadena, was shot two times in the chest with a handgun as he opened a locked lobby door.
The gunman then ran from the motel without attempting a robbery, said Sgt. Stephen R. Doarnberger, a Baltimore County police spokesman.
The victim, who police said was a former employee of the Prince George's County Sheriff's Department, had pulled his gun but had not fired the weapon, Sergeant Doarnberger said.
He said police believe the gunman had intended to rob the motel in the 8700 block of Loch Raven Boulevard.
"That's the only thing that makes sense at this time," Sergeant Doarnberger said.
The slaying was the second in 3 1/2 years at the motel, which until April 1 was a Holiday Inn.
Mr. Bowling wasn't scheduled to work the midnight shift at the motel, but police said he had agreed to fill in for a colleague.
After Mr. Bowling was shot, he staggered down a hallway before collapsing, police said.
Sergeant Doarnberger said a female clerk was at the lobby desk at the time of the shooting. The gunman never approached the desk, he said.
Witnesses reported seeing suspect, who was wearing a blue or green jogging suit and was in his 20s, running south along Loch Raven, toward Joppa Road.
Police said no car was seen leaving the motel, but the gunman could have had a car parked on either side of the building and out of sight from the lobby.
Police said a clerk dialed 911 and told a dispatcher a shooting had occurred in the lobby.
For several minutes, police officers searched the first floor of the motel before finding the security officer, who was lying on the floor in a hallway not far from the lobby.
Police said medics tried to revive the victim.
He was pronounced dead about 12:20 a.m.
Police said the clerk and motel guests who may have been in or near the lobby at the time of the shooting were taken to police headquarters in an effort to get a description of the gunman.
A waitress at the Bel Loc Diner, directly across Loch Raven Boulevard from the motel, said she heard a shooting had occurred, but didn't see anything unusual.
In an apparent armed robbery at the motel on Oct. 21, 1988, Jeffrey A. White, 25, a desk clerk from Cockeysville, was stabbed to death as he tried to crawl to safety behind the front desk.
A month later, police arrested a former motel employee, Duane T. Richardson, 27, of the 700 block of E. 43rd St. and charged him with first-degree murder and armed robbery.