TOWSON, Md. (AP) — A truck driven by a man claiming to be God rammed a Baltimore-area television station Tuesday, leaving a gaping hole in the front of the building as officers searched for the driver, who they said may be armed, according to police and witness accounts.
The station believes everyone inside evacuated safely, WMAR-TV News Director Kelly Groft told The Associated Press in a phone interview.
She said that when the truck began ramming the lobby around noon Tuesday, she screamed for everyone in the newsroom to leave.
"Once the lobby started to collapse, we knew it was time to get out," she said. "He drove right through the doors and into the main area."
Baltimore County police said 55 people evacuated but that they couldn't be sure everyone was out. Police said there may be an armed person inside, but there had not been any reports of shots fired. Police also said they knew of no motive.
"As far as I know everyone is safe," Baltimore County Police Department Cpl. Brian Kelly, standing near the scene, said.
A hole the size of several garage doors could be seen in the front of the building Tuesday afternoon. Police officers were on the scene, and news helicopters hovered above. A school next door was locked down.
Police received a 911 call about 11:45 about a man banging on the door and trying to get into the station, public safety spokeswoman Elise Armacost said. Within minutes, there was a second 911 call reporting that a vehicle had come into the newsroom.
Armacost called it large commercial vehicle. Officers didn't find the suspect in the vehicle, she said, and were still looking for weapons.
Police assume the person is dangerous because he ran a vehicle into an occupied building, she said.
Michael Marion, head of commercial production for the station, said that about 11:45 a.m., he heard from his office — right off the lobby — someone rattling violently against the security door. He said the person demanding to be let in and saying, "I am God, I am God."