Driver killed at US Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency re­mem­bered as friendly, trou­bled

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY JULIET LIN­DER­MAN AND MERED­ITH SOMERS

The driver killed in a vi­o­lent con­fronta­tion at a Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency gate was a trans­gen­der sex worker in Bal­ti­more, ac­cord­ing to those who knew her, and she was re­mem­bered Wed­nes­day as a friendly but trou­bled loner.

Ricky Shawatza Hall, 27, was killed Mon­day when NSA po­lice opened fire on a stolen car that then crashed into a po­lice ve­hi­cle. A pas­sen­ger and an of­fi­cer were wounded.

Kayla Brooks, who works at a trans­gen­der out­reach pro­gram in Bal­ti­more, said Hall went by the name Mya, and that she last saw her on Sun­day. Brooks says Hall “seemed high and was look­ing for a date” while walk­ing up and down a Bal­ti­more strip known as a hotspot for sex work.

“She was nice and friendly,” Brooks said of Hall, “but very trou­bled.”

Court doc­u­ments show that Hall had a his­tory of theft and as­sault. In 2013, she was charged with as­sault­ing a woman and steal­ing a bot­tle of methadone from her pocket. Hall wore a yel­low dress at the time of the as­sault, the doc­u­ments show. In 2014, Hall was charged with rob­bery af­ter steal­ing a vest and skirt from a Bal­ti­more cloth­ing store.

Hall also was charged with as­sault in Fe­bru­ary of 2014 while at cen­tral book­ing in Bal­ti­more af­ter she grabbed a broom han­dle from a sup­ply closet and smashed a win­dow with it.

Doc­u­ments show that Hall ran out of her cell af­ter an­other in­mate at­tacked her. Hall was be­ing held in a men’s unit of the jail.

An­thony Guil­laume, an at­tor­ney who rep­re­sented Hall on that as­sault charge, said his client was al­ways pro­fes­sional and ap­pre­cia­tive. But Guil­laume also de­scribed Hall as trou­bled and said she kept to her­self.

On Mon­day, po­lice determined that Hall and her pas­sen­ger were driv­ing the ve­hi­cle of a 60- yearold Bal­ti­more man, who told in­ves­ti­ga­tors he had picked up the two strangers in Bal­ti­more and brought them to a mo­tel.

The man told po­lice they checked into a room about 7: 30 a. m., and that he used the bath­room about an hour later. When he came out, they were gone, along with his car keys, Phelan said.

Po­lice said they could not con­firm whether drugs, al­co­hol or sex were part of the roughly one- hour stay.

Just be­fore 9 a. m. and min­utes af­ter the man called to re­port the stolen car, Hall and her pas­sen­ger took a high­way exit that leads di­rectly to a re­stricted area at the NSA en­trance at Fort Meade.

Hall did not obey a guard’s in­struc­tions for leav­ing the cam­pus, said spokesman Jonathan Freed. In­stead, the SUV sped up and headed to­ward an NSA po­lice car block­ing the road, Freed said in a state­ment.

“NSA Po­lice fired at the ve­hi­cle when it re­fused to stop,” Freed said, af­ter which the SUV crashed into the po­lice car.

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