A civilian, a police officer and the driver of an SUV were injured on Feb. 14, 2018 when an unidentified vehicle drove into a barrier at the gate of Fort Meade, which houses the US National Security Agency’s Headquarters.
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Reports say there were three men in the black SUV, which was reportedly rented from a rental agency. The vehicle drove toward the gate known as the Canine Gate at 7 am and did not stop despite directives from guards at that location. The guards then fired upon the vehicle. The vehicle came to a stop after making contact with concrete barriers located at the gate. The occupants were removed and handcuffed.
No injuries occurred as a result of the gunfire. However, the accident led to injuries for the driver of the vehicle, a civilian in the area and an NSA police officer. The civilian and NSA officer are reported to have non-life threatening injuries. There are no reports available on the condition of the driver of the vehicle.
Following the accident, the other two men in the vehicle were apprehended without incident and taken into custody. The injured parties were taken to a hospital immediately following the event, and the situation remains under investigation.
The situation is not linked to any terrorism group. It ended in a less lethal manner than a similar incident in 2015, when a vehicle drove at the gate and did not stop despite warnings. The two individuals in the vehicle in that incident were injured, one fatally and one seriously. That situation turned out to be civilians who had taken a wrong turn while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
While these situations involving injuries are uncommon, it is not as rare as one might think to see people end up at the gates of Fort Meade accidentally. Despite clearly marked roadways and highly visible signage, the base sees a lot of vehicles that have gotten off track. Officials redirect them to avoid further confusion or issues.
The first concern with a situation like this is terrorism and any ongoing security threat. Through preliminary investigation, the officials at the NSA have determined this situation is an isolated event and there is no ongoing threat to the safety of Fort Meade, the NSA or local residents.
The investigation will continue to determine the reason for the situation and if any charges will be filed in the future.
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