Shots Fired as Driver Rams Gate at NSA Headquarters, At Least One Dead

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

A vehicle attempted to ram the gate at the headquarters of the National Security Agency in Ft. Meade, Maryland at roughly 9:30 on Monday morning, initiating a confrontation with security forces that ended with shots being fired.  At least one uniformed guard appears to have been injured and loaded into an ambulance.

“Helicopter footage showed two cars – one a police vehicle and the other a black vehicle with no insignia – in a junction that had been roped off near the security gates,” reports BBC News.  “The cars appear to have collided and debris is strewn across the intersection. A white cloth appears to cover something beside the black vehicle.”

“Local emergency responders say that the NSA police force is handling the incident, and local agencies are providing support,” according to the BBC, which said it was unable to obtain an official comment from the NSA.

The UK Mirror says two people were injured during the incident, one of them the uniformed man described being placed in an ambulance by the BBC.  Ynet News says the man who tried to ram the gates was shot dead by security forces.  CBS News confirms that one fatality occurred during the incident, plus two injuries.

CBS News is reporting that two women were in the vehicle attempting to ram the NSA gates, and that at least one woman is dead, with the other “taken to Shock Trauma for treatment.” The CBS report claims authorities have also found “cocaine and a weapon” in the car involved in the incident, and that there is currently no armed shooter at large.

The gender of the individuals attacking the NSA headquarters is disputed in various reports. NBC News is claiming that the two people in the car were “men disguised as women,” not women. The NBC report does note that drugs were found in the vehicle, coinciding with CBS. CNN is also reporting that the attackers were two men.

Further updates note the car was stolen, and there is not yet any indication of an organized terrorist attempt but, rather, one anonymous official described the attack as a “local criminal matter” to NBC.

This is not the first recent report of trouble at NSA headquarters. Earlier this month, the FBI arrested a man for firing shots at the building, as part of a shooting spree that lasted several weeks, including shots fired at a service truck which injured one of the passengers with shattered glass.

Update 12:30PM EST: ABC News reports that one of the perpetrators was shot dead on the scene, while the other is “severely injured” and probably will not survive.  The injuries of the security officer are said to be “non-life-threatening.”  Some reports have suggested the officer was struck by one of the vehicles involved in the crash – two damaged SUVs can be seen in helicopter footage – rather than being hit by gunfire.

CBS News in Baltimore reports the FBI will take over investigation of the incident from the NSA’s security force.  There are still said to be no links to organized terrorism.

Update 4:45PM EST: The Associated Press reports that the vehicle used to ram the NSA gates was stolen from a hotel.

This story has been updated as developments surface.