3 hos­pi­tal­ized af­ter ve­hi­cle tries to en­ter NSA cam­pus

Waterloo Region Record - - News - BRIAN WITTE

FORT MEADE, MD. — Three peo­ple, in­clud­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer, were in­jured af­ter au­thor­i­ties say a ve­hi­cle tried to en­ter the se­cure cam­pus of the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency at Fort Meade on Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

Gun­shots were fired dur­ing the in­ci­dent, but of­fi­cials say they do not be­lieve any of the in­juries re­sulted from gun­fire.

At a news con­fer­ence Wed­nes­day, Gor­don John­son, spe­cial agent in charge of the FBI’s Bal­ti­more field of­fice, said the FBI is still col­lect­ing ev­i­dence but be­lieves it was an iso­lated in­ci­dent.

“I can­not em­pha­size enough that we be­lieve there is no in­di­ca­tion that this has a nexus to ter­ror­ism,” John­son told re­porters.

John­son said the three in­jured were the driver of the ve­hi­cle, an NSA po­lice of­fi­cer and a civil­ian on­looker. He would not give any de­tails about how they were in­jured or who opened fire. Two other peo­ple who were in the ve­hi­cle have been taken into cus­tody, John­son said. The in­juries suf­fered by the po­lice of­fi­cer and the on­looker did not ap­pear to be life threat­en­ing, he said. He did not have any in­for­ma­tion about the driver’s in­juries.

The in­ci­dent be­gan when the ve­hi­cle tried to en­ter the spy agency’s cam­pus with­out au­tho­riza­tion around 7 a.m., the NSA said in a state­ment. The state­ment said weapons were fired but “pre­lim­i­nary re­ports do not presently in­di­cate that there are in­juries at­trib­ut­able to gun­fire.” The FBI is lead­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Im­ages from lo­cal news out­lets showed au­thor­i­ties sur­round­ing two hand­cuffed peo­ple af­ter a black SUV ran into a bar­rier out­side the Mary­land base.

John­son said he did not know why the peo­ple in the ve­hi­cle were at the fa­cil­ity.

“I don’t have the an­swer to that,” he said. “We are try­ing to put that as our ques­tion one as to what put these in­di­vid­u­als on this com­pound ear­lier this morn­ing.”

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has been “briefed on the shoot­ing at Ft. Meade,” and the White House of­fered thoughts and prayers with those who have been af­fected, spokesper­son Lind­say Wal­ters said.

An im­age taken from a WRC-TV he­li­copter showed the po­lice and fire de­part­ment re­sponse out­side the fa­cil­ity. Bul­let holes could be seen in the ve­hi­cle’s front win­dow, and airbags were de­ployed. Blood­stained ma­te­rial could be seen on the ground.

De­spite prom­i­nent high­way signs, driv­ers oc­ca­sion­ally take the wrong exit and end up at the tightly se­cured gates. Most mo­torists then care­fully fol­low the or­ders of heav­ily armed of­fi­cers and turn around with­out get­ting into more trou­ble.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

In this im­age made from video and pro­vided by WUSA TV-9, au­thor­i­ties in­ves­ti­gate the scene of a shoot­ing at Fort Meade, Md. on Wed­nes­day. A sus­pect has been held, taken from the black SUV that stopped at bar­rier af­ter a shoot­ing out­side Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency.

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