One person was killed and two others, including a police officer, were injured Monday after police confronted a car that tried to crash through a gate outside National Security Agency headquarters at Fort Meade, Md., the agency confirmed.
NSA police opened fire when the car rammed into a police car. FBI officials say they don’t believe the incident is related to terrorism. According to Howard County police spokeswoman Mary Phelan, the black SUV was stolen from a hotel in Jessup, Md., on Monday morning. Phelan would not say which hotel, citing the FBI's ongoing investigation, and no other information was provided on the alleged theft.
According to a statement released by NSA spokesman Jonathan Freed, a vehicle containing two people attempted “unauthorized entry” at a gate on the agency’s campus just before 9 a.m. When an NSA police officer instructed them to exit the area, the driver “failed to obey,” Freed said. “The vehicle failed to stop and barriers were deployed.”
The car then sped toward an NSA police car blocking the road, and NSA police fired at the car as it crashed into the police vehicle.
One of the car’s occupants died on scene, the NSA said. The other person in the car, as well as an NSA police officer, were injured in the incident and taken to a hospital.
Aerial footage showed two damaged sport utility vehicles, one of them marked NSA Police, at the scene, and emergency workers hoisting a man in a uniform into an ambulance.
Two men dressed as women were in the black unmarked SUV shown near the damaged police car, and had apparently tried to force their SUV past security, the Associated Press reported, citing an unnamed senior defense official.
Emergency responders as well as multiple law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, were on scene, said Fort Meade spokesman Steve Ellmore.
Fort Meade, a sprawling Army installation near Baltimore, is home to the NSA headquarters. More than 14,000 military personnel and 28,500 civilian personnel work on the base, and nearly 10,000 residents live on base.
“The incident has been contained and is under investigation,” said Col. Brian Foley, Fort Meade garrison commander. “The residents, service members and civilian employees on the installation are safe. We continue to remain vigilant at all of our access control points.”
In a statement, the FBI's Baltimore office said the shooting scene was contained, and that it does not believe the shooting is related to terrorism. The FBI is investigating the shooting, along with NSA police and other law enforcement agencies, the agency said, and will work with the U.S. Attorney’s office to determine whether to bring any federal charges.
President Obama has been briefed on the incident, the White House said in a statement, and will be "updated as appropriate."