Suspect sought in HCC attack

Woman's former boyfriend said to be object of search

`It is an isolated situation'

Shocked campus returning to normal after stabbing


March 31, 2004|By Sandy Alexander | Sandy Alexander,SUN STAFF

Police were searching yesterday for a suspect in the stabbing of a security guard at Howard Community College, but life on the Columbia campus had largely returned to normal.

The victim was reporting to work about 4 p.m. Monday in the Galleria building when an attacker stabbed her several times; she suffered several wounds, including some to the head, according to Howard County police.

The assailant then ran to a vehicle and drove away, authorities said.

The 26-year-old Baltimore woman was taken to Howard County General Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Authorities have not disclosed the victim's name, but said she was stable Monday night.

Police said they were looking for a former boyfriend as a suspect, identified as Gilbert Lee Redmond Jr., 29, of Baltimore. They asked anyone with information to call 410-313-3200.

The incident shocked faculty, staff and students on the campus, where violent crime is virtually unheard of.

HCC President Mary Ellen Duncan said that in the six years she has been at the school, "I've never heard about any serious incident."

She said she was concerned for the victim, and pleased that more than one nurse from the school's nursing education department went to the scene immediately to offer assistance.

"I was very proud that we had our own people who were so skilled and so willing to help," Duncan said.

She said administrators will review the school's processes to make sure everything was handled appropriately. She also said this is a good time to review safety precautions with students, who may be more aware of safety issues after the incident.

Duncan said she does not anticipate making changes to school security, including the work arrangement with Allied Security, the victim's employer.

Allied Security has contracted with the college to provide guards since July.

"I don't think [this attack] indicates things to come," she said. "I think it is an isolated situation."

"I was surprised it happened at Howard Community College," said Shannon Zirkle, president of the school's Student Government Association. "I wouldn't expect it to happen here."

She said students were more surprised than scared as word spread throughout the school.

Personally, "I still feel really safe," Zirkle said. "It happened to be a coincidence" that the attack occurred on the campus.

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