A Baltimore public works employee was fatally shot at a city maintenance depot after an argument with a co-worker turned physical and the co-worker got a gun Thursday, city police said. The shooter is still on the loose, they said.

Police officers were called to a Department of Public Works facility Thursday morning for a report of a shooting and in a locker room area they found a 34-year-old employee who had been shot several times, spokesman T. J. Smith said at a news conference. The man was taken to Shock Trauma, where he was pronounced dead.

Smith didn't release any details about the suspected shooter, but said investigators have good leads and expect to identify the person soon.

"They were at work making a living and somehow or another the bad guy decided to end this dispute with a gun," Smith said. "So whether it was a personal or a professional argument, we have to answer those questions and get to the bottom of that. What made this bad guy bring the gun to work? Why did he have it at work and why did he choose to use it today?"

Public Works Director Raymond Chow said at the news conference that he was not aware of any previous issues at the building and was surprised by the news.

 

 

"I know it's going to be a big blow to our department as a whole," he said.

In a statement, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she was "saddened and disturbed" by the shooting death of the "dedicated" public works employee. She praised workers for calling upon their training as they reacted to the shooting, helping to ensure no one else was hurt.

About 100 employees report to the field depot that houses maintenance crews working on water and sewer mains, and their equipment. People must have key cards to access to the building, he said.