FORT MEADE — Several people were hospitalized after a shooting Wednesday morning outside the National Security Agency campus at Fort Meade, but none of the injuries were caused by gunfire, the spy agency said.
It began when a vehicle tried to enter the agency’s secure campus without authorization shortly after 7 a.m., the NSA said in a statement. The statement said weapons were fired but “preliminary reports do not presently indicate that there are injuries attributable to gunfire.” The FBI is investigating.
The incident did not have any links to terrorism, said a federal official who did not want to be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
Images from local news outlets showed authorities surrounding two handcuffed people after a black SUV ran into a barrier outside the Maryland base.
Earlier, Fort Meade garrison spokeswoman Cheryl Phillips had said one person was wounded in the shooting and taken to a hospital.
“NSA police and local law enforcement are addressing an incident that took place this morning at one of NSA’s secure vehicle entry gates. The situation is under control and there’s no ongoing security or safety threat,” an earlier NSA statement said.
President Donald Trump has been “briefed on the shooting at Ft. Meade,” and the White House offered thoughts and prayers with those who have been affected, spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said.
An image taken from a WRC-TV helicopter shows the police and fire department response outside the facility. WRC said bullet holes could be seen in the vehicle’s front window, and air bags were deployed. Blood-stained material could be seen on the ground.
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.