An aerial view of a shooting scene at the National Security Agency at Fort Meade in Maryland is pictured in this still image take from video, March 30.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON - Two people tried to run their vehicle through National Security Agency's entrance gates near Washington on Monday before guards shot one of them dead, and the vehicle's second occupant and a police officer were injured, officials said.
The two, who were dressed in women's clothes and may be transgender, tried to drive their sport utility vehicle through an entrance gate at the spy agency's Fort Meade, Maryland, headquarters, a senior US official said.
Their motive was not immediately known but officials said there was no evidence the incident was linked to terrorism. One official said investigators were looking into whether drugs were involved.
The two people in a vehicle "attempted an unauthorized entry at a National Security Agency gate," the NSA said in a statement. The pair failed to follow a police officer's directions to leave the gate area and barriers were put up.
The vehicle accelerated toward an NSA Police car blocking the road at the base gate about 20 miles (32 km) northeast of Washington. Officers fired at it when the driver refused to stop.
The vehicle crashed into the police car. One of the vehicle's occupants died at the scene, and the cause is undetermined, the statement said.
An NSA Police officer and the vehicle's second occupant were hurt and taken to a hospital. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is leading the probe into the incident, it said.
In a statement, the FBI said: "The shooting scene is contained and we do not believe it is related to terrorism."
NBC News, quoting unnamed sources, said the two were driving in a stolen car. A gun and drugs were found in the vehicle, a Ford Escape, the network said.
Television helicopter footage showed two damaged vehicles outside the gates to NSA headquarters, located just off a major highway linking Baltimore and Washington. Video showed at least one person in uniform being wheeled to an ambulance.
One of the vehicles shown was marked "Police" and had its hood up. The other, a dark vehicle, had front-end damage.
The FBI added it was working with the US Attorney's Office in Maryland to determine whether federal charges were warranted.