NSA Police Officer Opens Fire on Unauthorized Car Outside Spy Agency
The three people in the vehicle, which the FBI only identified as men, were being held by authorities.
A National Security Agency police officer opened fire Wednesday morning on a vehicle at an entrance to the intelligence agency's campus in Maryland, law enforcement sources told CBS News. Three people were injured when the SUV slammed into a security barrier.
The three people in the vehicle, which the FBI only identified as men, were being held by authorities. One person in custody was being questioned and appeared to be cooperating with authorities, CBS News justice and homeland security correspondent Jeff Pegues reports.
In a statement, the NSA said an unauthorized vehicle attempted to enter the agency's campus shortly after 7 a.m. and "weapons were discharged in the course of the incident." The situation was under control, and there was no ongoing threat, the NSA said.
At an afternoon press conference, FBI Special Agent Gordon Johnson wouldn't comment on the three individuals in custody other than to say they were men and that the driver was among the injured.
Johnson identified the other injured people as the NSA officer and a civilian. He didn't provide other details.
There didn't appear to be a nexus to terrorism, Johnson said.
The vehicle was being tailed by the Maryland State Police at the time, Pegues and CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton report. The vehicle had turned onto an exit road of the campus in Fort Meade, Maryland, northeast of Washington. It then hit a barrier near a security gate.
It was unclear why the vehicle was being tailed. The vehicle was described as a black Dodge Durango with New York license plates that had been rented at Enterprise.
Investigators were looking into whether the vehicle ended up on NSA property by accident and the driver tried to drive away and didn't stop when told to, which resulted in the officer opening fire, Pegues reports.
Aerial footage showed the SUV stopped at the gate. Bullet holes were seen in the vehicle's windshield, but two officials told CBS News that no one was hit by gunfire. One person was rushed to a hospital with injuries sustained from the crash.
Johnson wouldn't say whether any weapons were found in the vehicle.
NSA police, the FBI and local law enforcement responded to the shooting, sources told CBS News.
White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement that President Trump had been briefed on the shooting.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected," Walters said.
After the shooting, authorities closed a major highway in both directions, causing major backups throughout the area during rush hour.
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 federal officers and turn around without getting into more trouble.
But in early 2015, two people were shot at by NSA police when they disobeyed orders outside the heavily secured campus. One driver died at the scene after NSA police opened fire on a stolen sports utility vehicle. Authorities later said they had stolen a car from a man who picked them up for a party at a motel.
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