(Baltimore County police, Patuxent Publishing / October 5, 2011)

Baltimore County police arrested a Gwynn Oak man in the Monday, Oct. 3, shooting incident involving a Social Security Administration employee near the federal agency's campus in Woodlawn.

Gary Stokes, 26, of the 6700 block of Richardson Road, has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, armed robbery and the use of a handgun in committing a felony in connection with the shooting, which caused the SSA campus to be temporarily locked down, police said.

The victim had been taking a walk during his lunch break when he was shot in the arm during a robbery earlier in the day on a wooded path near Walden Circle.

Stokes is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center in Towson without bail.


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He was caught in the 1500 block of Woodlawn Drive, about a quarter of a mile from where the shooting occurred, police said.

Police found Stokes with the help of a "pretty comprehensive description" of what he looked like and of the direction in which he had fled from the victim, said Elise Armacost, a police spokeswoman.

The victimhad flagged down an officer on a routine patrol at Woodlawn Drive and Parallel Road just before 11:45 a.m.

He told the officer he had been robbed of his cell phone and shot, and was taken to Sinai Hospital in Baltimore with a single, non-life-threatening gunshot wound to his right bicep, police said.

His phone was later found not far from where Stokes was caught, according to the charging document.

The shooting caused the nearby SSA campus to go on lockdown until 2 p.m., SSA spokeswoman Dorothy Clark said.

Armacost stressed that the shooting did not occur on the SSA campus.

Many people initially thought the shooting had occurred on the campus, and said so on the social networking site Twitter, in part because of an 11:41 a.m. email that went to staff there from SSA Commissioner Michael Astrue, which stated the shooting had occurred on the campus and announced the lockdown.

"The assailant is allegedly fleeing and is some distance away, but we are erring on the side of safety for now," the email said. "Please remain in the building, unless there is an absolute emergency. If there is an absolute emergency, please ask the Federal Protective Service for assistance."

Armacost said the SSA was originally notified of the shooting because the suspect had not been apprehended, not because of a connection between the shooting and the federal campus.

Police later confirmed that the victim was a SSA employee.