One man has been killed while another has been seriously injured in a shooting at the gate of the headquarters of the National Security Agency, near Washington. The NSA officers fired on a vehicle after it refused to obey their commands to stop and charged past a police vehicle that was blocking the road.
An unnamed official said that the car held two men who were dressed as woman and one of them died at the scene while the other was taken to hospital.
The attack took place just after 9am local time at the NSA section of the Fort Meade facility. In a rare public statement, the NSA said that the driver refused to obey the command to stop and leave the secure area, from the NSA police officer.
The vehicle then continued to charge towards an NSA vehicle, hitting it and it was then that the police fired on it, according to the statement. There is no mention as to whether the men had any weapons that they fired on the scene.
Footage taken from a helicopter showed the scene with two cars, one of which was a police vehicle and the other a black vehicle with no insignia. Both had extensive damage and were roped off near the security gates leading to the NSA headquarters.
The two cars clearly had collided and debris had scattered over the area while a white cloth had been draped over something close to the black vehicle. The FBI have taken up the lead in the investigation.
FBI Baltimore spokeswoman Amy Thoreson said that they did not believe at this point that the incident was connected to terrorism. President Barack Obama was briefed on the incident, according to officials from the White House.
The Fort Meade campus is found around 30 minutes outside Washington and is home to some 40,000 military and civilian personnel, including many members of family of these employees. It houses the US Cyber Command, the US Defence Information School and other agencies in addition to the NSA.
The NSA is a clandestine intelligence agency tasked with the collection and analysis of electronic signals for US intelligence and counter-intelligence purposes. It rose to prominent after Edward Snowden leaked thousands of the documents from the agency’s files in 2013.
So far, authorities have found no connected between this and an incident earlier in the month when a man fired shots at the NSA building. The same man also shot at a truck some 12 miles away and may be responsible for a series of similar incidents.
The man responsible in that case was arrested, though his identity had not been released. He fired shots from the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, a major connection between the two cities and damage was caused to the building but no one was injured.