*Also By Megan Dwyer*
Montgomery County police reported a handgun shooting on the 6800 block of Millwood Road the evening of Oct. 8.
The victim, a 54-year-old man, was shot around 7:30 p.m., after he pulled into his driveway with his wife. Police found him with a single gunshot wound to the neck inside his garage, according to police spokesperson Lucille Baur. He was taken to Suburban Hospital.
Police report that the victim is in critical condition. A source close to the family said his condition had improved.
Because the Whittier Woods neighborhood is directly in front of Whitman, the school went into lockdown. Police helicopters spotted the suspect fleeing on foot down Goldsboro Road. Police also used bloodhounds to search for the suspect who they described as of medium build, dressed in dark clothing and wearing a mask.
Police blocked roads and limited access to the community during the search, Baur said.
The junior varsity football game had just ended, and police notified coach Jim Kuhn about the shooting nearby. Officers escorted the players into the building for lockdown.
Principal Alan Goodwin received a call from athletic director Andy Wetzel and called Educational Facilities Officer Arnold Aubrey to the office. Goodwin announced the Code Red at 7:55 p.m.
Black & White staff members were in the building at the time and were locked in room B211 for about 35 minutes. Goodwin called newspaper staffers during the lockdown to update them on the situation and let them know that it was safe to continue working.
Goodwin lifted the Code Red around 8:30 p.m., after police helicopters swept the area and determined that the shooter had fled the scene.
“It seems that it was a short period of time to be on a Code Red, but they obviously have more information than we do,” Goodwin added.
Police officers continued to patrol in front of the school and around the parking lot for the next hour.
“We had been assured that our students would be safe,” Goodwin said.
Around 9 p.m. he sent a mass telephone message to assure families that students still at school were safe and that the code red lockdown had ended.
Montgomery County police advised residents that evening to stay inside while the shooter was still at large, according to resident Melanie Wine.
Administrators considered canceling school Oct. 9, but decided to remain open after the police confirmed that the neighborhood was clear, assistant principal Jennifer Webster said. Police remained in front of the victim’s house all night and throughout the following day.
Goodwin attended a meeting at another local school in the morning of Oct. 9, but stopped by Whitman first to convey a sense of normalcy to the community.
This was the only Code Red ever enacted after school hours in Montgomery County, Goodwin said.
County officials questioned Goodwin about his response to the incident and will use his experience in developing a protocol for situations like these.
“It was definitely unusual and a bit frightening,” he said. “School officials have been asking me how it went and any suggestions that I have.”
The victim, who works at the International Monetary Fund, is the father of two college students, both of whom graduated from Whitman.