Police identify office shooter

Investigation of motive under way

company evaluating its security

November 18, 2006|By Julie Scharper and Jennifer McMenamin | Julie Scharper and Jennifer McMenamin,Sun reporters

The man who opened fire during a meeting in a Baltimore County office was a computer technician who killed his supervisor before taking his own life, according to police and company officials.

Morris Keith Lyons, who managed the help desk at BD Diagnostics Systems in Sparks, shot the company's director of information technology several times in the upper body early Thursday afternoon, police said yesterday. The victim, Harold W. Creech, had come to Lyons' second-floor office at a company facility in the Loveton Center business park.

As police continued to try to determine what prompted the murder-suicide, a company spokesman said yesterday that BD Diagnostics would evaluate its security policies.

"Like most companies, we have controlled access and strong security measures and procedures at all of our facilities," spokesman Stephen Kaiser said in a statement. "The facts are still being gathered; as they develop, we'll certainly review them and assess our measures."

Both Lyons, 52, and Creech, 59, had been with the company since 1998, Kaiser said.

A woman who answered the door at Lyons' home in Carney declined to comment, saying, "I'm sorry. We have nothing to say."

Neighbors on Derwood Court -- a short stretch of single-family homes and townhouses -- said the Lyons family did not interact much on a friendly street where neighbors watch each other's children, check up on one another and take care of pets and mow lawns for vacationing families. One woman estimated the Lyons family had lived in the neighborhood for at least 10 years.

Others in the neighborhood said that Lyons, who apparently was known by his middle name, and his wife have three college-age children.

The pastor at the family's church, St. Ursula Roman Catholic Church, declined to comment.

A former employee of BD Diagnostics who worked with Lyons described him as a pleasant, stable and religious man who never seemed depressed or despondent.

"I'm sitting here scratching my head, trying to figure out what would make Keith Lyons do this," said the former employee, who did not give his name because he still works in the industry. "I'm just very, very shocked because Keith Lyons was a very gentle person."

Creech, a resident of New Freedom, Pa., was the director of information technology for the biotechnology company's Maryland offices. He was Lyons' direct supervisor.

Creech moved to New Freedom from his native North Carolina to work for the company, Susan Glack, a spokeswoman for the family, said when reached by phone Thursday. His wife, Linda, resides in North Carolina, and two adult children live in other states.

One BD employee described Creech as "one of the nicest bosses you could possibly get."

Like others, the employee did not want to be quoted by name because company officials told workers not to speak with reporters.

Members of Creech's family said that they wondered how an employee was able to bring a weapon to work.

Shortly after 1 p.m. on Thursday, police received a call about an emergency at the office on Loveton Circle, which employs about 500 people. Both men were dead when police and paramedics arrived, according to a police statement.

Police would not describe the gun used. They could not give a motive for the shooting, or describe the purpose of the meeting between the men.

BD Diagnostics is one of three divisions of BD Inc., a medical technology company with headquarters in Franklin Lakes, N.J. The company was formerly known as Becton, Dickinson and Co.

The company has offices in Hunt Valley and at five locations on Loveton Circle, Kaiser said. About 1,700 people work for local offices of BD Diagnostics.

julie.scharper@baltsun.com

jennifer.mcmenamin@ baltsun.com

Sun reporter Nick Shields contributed to this article.

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