Two shot as vehicle tries to ram NSA gate

Updated: 2015-04-01 07:49

By Agencies in Fort Meade, Maryland and Washington(China Daily)

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Two people tried to run their vehicle through a National Security Agency gate near Washington on Monday before guards shot them, one fatally.

A police officer was also injured in the incident.

Both suspects, who were dressed in women's clothes and may be transgender, tried to drive a sport utility vehicle through an entrance at the agency's Fort Meade, Maryland, headquarters, officials said.

 Two shot as vehicle tries to ram NSA gate

A police officer directs a vehicle to turn away from Fort Meade after an SUV rammed a gate to the National Security Agency on Monday. Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

The motive was not immediately known, but one official said drugs may have been involved in the incident, which occurred about 32 kilometers northeast of Washington.

Officials told Reuters they could not confirm media reports that weapons and drugs were found in the SUV.

The surviving suspect was a resident of Baltimore, a federal law enforcement official said. Local news media said the person was hospitalized in intensive care. Investigators were trying to determine the identity of the other person, who died at the scene.

A Howard County police spokeswoman said the SUV was stolen in the morning from outside a hotel in nearby Jessup, Maryland.

The NSA said in a statement that the two people in the vehicle "attempted an unauthorized entry" and failed to follow directions to leave the gate area.

The vehicle accelerated toward an NSA police car blocking the road at the base gate. Officers fired when the driver refused to stop. The vehicle crashed into the police car.

Television helicopter footage showed two damaged vehicles outside the gates of the NSA headquarters, which is situated just off a major highway linking Baltimore and Washington. Video showed at least one person in uniform being wheeled to an ambulance.

One of the vehicles was marked "Police" and had its hood up. The other, a dark vehicle, had front-end damage.

It's not the first time someone has disobeyed orders at an NSA gate. In July, a man failed to obey an officer's command to stop as he approached a checkpoint. The man drove away, injuring an NSA officer and nearly striking a barricade. He was later arrested and is awaiting trial on federal charges.

Earlier last month, the police captured a man accused of shooting at a building on the NSA campus. The man, who was also accused of targeting vehicles, told the police he heard voices.

Fort Meade is home to the NSA, the Defense Information Systems Agency and the US Cyber Command. About 11,000 military personnel and about 29,000 civilian employees work on the property.

Reuters - AP

(China Daily 04/01/2015 page12)