A private security officer working the midnight shift at the Ramada Inn in the 8700 block of Loch Raven Boulevard in Baynesville was shot and killed early this morning during an attempted armed robbery.
Baltimore County police said the officer, whose name was not released pending notification of his family, was pronounced dead at the scene from at least one bullet wound to the chest.
Police also were checking to learn if the shooting victim, believed to be a resident of Howard County, was a retired or active area policeman moonlighting as a security officer.
The slaying was the second in 3 1/2 years at the motel.
Police reports of last night's incident said an unidentified man entered the motel lobby shortly after midnight and walked up to the desk.
While details of what occurred next were sketchy, police said they think the man announced a holdup and ordered the female clerk standing behind the desk to give him the money from the cash register.
Instead of complying with the gunman's order, the woman fell to the floor and took cover behind the counter, police said.
Police think the security officer then arrived in the lobby and confronted the gunman.
Whether the security officer was summoned by the clerk through an alarm system or arrived in the lobby without knowing a robbery was being committed was unclear.
Police said the gunman fired at least one shot -- and perhaps two -- and the armed security officer was hit in the chest.
Police said they did not know whether the security officer was able to unholster his weapon and return fire.
The gunman immediately fled the without taking any money.
Police said no car was seen leaving the motel, but the gunman could have had a car parked on either side of the building and out of sight from the lobby.
Police said the female clerk dialed 911 and told a dispatcher a shooting had occurred in the lobby. The motel, near Joppa Road, recently was renamed from a Holiday Inn.
For several minutes, police officers searched the first floor of the motel before finding the security officer, who was lying on the floor in a hallway not far from the lobby.
Police said efforts to revive the man were unsuccessful.