- The Washington Times - Monday, March 30, 2015

Two men reportedly dressed as women tried Monday morning to drive through a secure entrance at the National Security Agency, prompting NSA police to open fire when the driver of the unauthorized vehicle ignored orders to stop and rammed into a police SUV. One person was killed and two others, including a police officer, were injured in the incident.

The FBI quickly announced that the incident was not believed to be linked to terrorism, and a spokeswoman for the Howard County Police Department said the unauthorized vehicle had been stolen earlier Monday from a hotel not far from NSA headquarters, located at Fort Meade.

Several media outlets reported that the two men in the vehicle were dressed as women, citing unnamed defense officials. Neither the FBI nor the NSA have provided details about the people involved in the incident.

Investigators have not released the identities of the two occupants in the vehicle or provided the cause of death for the person who died at the scene.

The incident unfolded quickly, beginning at 9 a.m., when an unauthorized vehicle approached the entrance gate, NSA officials said.

“The driver failed to obey an NSA Police officer’s routine instructions for safely exiting the secure campus,” the NSA said in a statement.

Barriers were deployed when the vehicle failed to stop and then the vehicle “accelerated toward an NSA Police vehicle blocking the road.”

“NSA Police fired at the vehicle when it refused to stop,” the NSA statement said.

It was unclear how many officers were present during the incident or opened fire at the vehicle.

Officials said the incident was contained to the vehicle control point area on the perimeter of NSA’s campus, which is located on the sprawling Fort Meade military installation off of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (Interstate 295).

Footage of the scene from local TV news helicopters showed two damaged vehicles — one an NSA police SUV — outside the gate. One uniformed man is seen on the footage being loaded into an ambulance. A white sheet was spread over the ground, possibly covering a body, near the second damaged vehicle, a black SUV.

WJLA-TV (Channel 7) reported that the two men in the black SUV were dressed as women and had been involved in an earlier robbery when they possibly made a wrong exit from the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and ended up at the NSA entrance.

Mary Phelan, a spokeswoman for the Howard County Police Department, told The Associated Press that the car involved in the shooting had been stolen Monday morning from a hotel in Jessup, Maryland.

Citing the ongoing investigation, Ms. Phelan declined to name the hotel or release any more details, and referred questions to the FBI.

The FBI is leading the investigation into the incident and is working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland to determine whether federal charges may be filed, said FBI Baltimore Field Office spokeswoman Amy Thoreson.

Of Monday’s incident, she said the FBI does “not believe it is related to terrorism.”

Fort Meade employs more than 51,000 people on site. The military installation encompasses more than 5,000 acres in Anne Arundel County between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and also is home to the U.S. Cyber Command.

A Fort Meade spokeswoman referred calls about the shooting to the NSA, noting that the incident occurred on “their campus.”

This is the second time in a month that a gunshots have been reported at the NSA headquarters.

A 35-year-old Beltsville man, Hong Young, was arrested earlier this month and accused of shooting at five public places in Maryland from area highways, including an NSA building. No one was injured in the March 3 incident that damaged an NSA building.

• Andrea Noble can be reached at anoble@washingtontimes.com.

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