3 hospitalized after vehicle tries to enter NSA campus
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.
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.