When a 27-year-old mentally ill man crashed a stolen landscaping truck into ABC2 News' lobby, it led to a massive response from police and firefighters in Baltimore County. It brought out a unit not usually seen every day -- Baltimore County Police Department Tactical Team.
Team members constantly train for a very moment like this, when they’re not exactly sure what they’ll be up against.
Tuesday afternoon, Baltimore County’s Tactical Team suited up to enter and surround WMAR's studios in search of a man who rammed a stolen truck into the lobby.
“When our officers got here and found the subject was not in the vehicle, and then they heard that he might be inside, then they dispatched a tactical barricade situation," said Elise Armacost, public information office for Baltimore County Police Department.
In a response that looked straight out of a movie, officers strategically placed themselves both inside and outside the building, though their specific strategy and tools are kept closely guarded secrets. But their technology allowed them to zero in on the suspect’s location on the second floor of the building.
“At which time, we closed in further, isolated him and you may have heard, we used other technology to alert him, and breached the door of the structure that he had barricaded himself in,"
said Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson.
It was a delicate and dangerous five-hour search that ended peacefully around 4:35 p.m. with the suspect in custody and no one hurt, largely due to an elite group of officers that hopes it's never needed, but is ready when called upon.
"It just reminds us, once again, that these tactical officers were going room to room, not knowing what danger they were facing," said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. "The fact that they are willing to risk their lives to protect others is just an admirable human being and we’re very grateful for their efforts.”
In addition to Baltimore County Police and Fire, Baltimore City Police, the State Highway Administration and Maryland State Police helped in the response.