Several people were injured Wednesday during a bizarre shooting incident outside the entrance to the super-secret National Security Agency after a vehicle tried to crash the agency’s main gate outside Washington, according to an NSA statement.
The NSA said several individuals were transported to an area hospital and that preliminary reports “do not presently indicate that there are injuries attributable to gunfire.” It said the vehicle “attempted to enter NSA’s secure campus without authorization.”
The agency said the FBI had taken over the investigation but made no mention of any possible suspects.
In video taken by WUSA-TV, a black SUV with bullet holes in the windshield is shown slammed against a concrete barrier near the gates of the NSA, which is located on the grounds of Fort Meade in Maryland. Video footage from WRC-TV shows police surrounding a handcuffed man sitting on the ground near the vehicle.
Neither the NSA nor any other agency indicated whether any suspects had been taken into custody.
An earlier statement by NSA said the situation was under control and that there was no continuing security or safety threat.
One person was injured in the shooting outside the base and taken to the hospital, Fort Meade spokeswoman Cheryl Phillips said earlier by phone.
President Trump was “briefed on the shooting at Fort Meade,” and the White House offered thoughts and prayers to those who have been affected, spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said.
The incident shut down traffic along a stretch of Route 32 by the campus, preventing NSA workers who use that route from entering the facility, which is located between Baltimore and Washington.
The NSA collects, processes and disseminates intelligence information from foreign electronic signals for national foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes.
It also oversees codebreaking and monitors federal government computer networks to counter cyberterrorism.
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.
In 2015, two people were shot 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 the two people had stolen a car from a man who picked them up for a party at a motel.
In 1993, a gunman opened fire outside the entrance to the Central Intelligence Agency in Virginia, killing two CIA employees in their cars and wounding three others. After a four-year manhunt, the gunman, Pakistani national Aimal Kasi, was tracked down in Pakistan by a joint CIA-FBI team and returned to the U.S. He was founded guilty of first-degree murder and executed in 2002.