Hours after a black SUV attempted to access the NSA campus at Fort Meade, prompting police to fire on the vehicle before it struck a concrete barrier, federal officials said they are still working to determine what led to the incident at the Anne Arundel County installation.
A spokesman for the FBI, which is heading up the investigation into Wednesday morning’s incident, said three people were injured — an NSA officer, a bystander and the driver of the SUV. None of those injuries is believed to have been the result of gunfire, officials said.
Those in the vehicle are in custody, said Gordon Johnson, special agent in charge for the FBI.
“We believe there is no indication to think this is anything more than an isolated incident,” Johnson said during an afternoon news briefing on the NSA campus. “We believe there is no nexus at all to terrorism.”
Johnson said three men were inside the black SUV, which attempted to access the NSA campus via Gate 1 on Canine Road around 6:55 a.m.
“We are trying to talk to them to understand why they were here,” Johnson said. He said the FBI believes that no law enforcement agencies were pursuing the vehicle before it reached the security gate.
The vehicle, with apparent bullet holes in the widow, eventually stopped against a white concrete barrier bearing the letters “NSA.”
“This vehicle did come onto the NSA’s compound unauthorized,” Johnson said, adding, “NSA police responded accordingly.”
The vehicle had New York plates, and Johnson said the FBI believes the vehicle was a rental car.
Johnson cited the ongoing investigation in declining to answer a number of questions — including whether the vehicle’s occupants were armed or fired at officers, or how the vehicle ended up facing an outbound direction from the gate.
All other gates to the campus are open, Fort Meade officials said.
Maryland State Highway Administration reopened MD 32 before 9 a.m. after it had been shut down in both directions at Canine Road in response. Fort Meade officials urged motorists to take alternate routes and “expect long delays.”
The Anne Arundel County Fire Department assisted the Fort Meade Fire Department and cleared the scene around 8:45 a.m., spokesman Russ Davies tweeted.
Residual traffic delays were expected, according to officials.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools spokesman Bob Mosier said Meade Senior High School is operating as usual.
President Donald Trump has been “briefed on the shooting at Ft. Meade,” and the White House offers thoughts and prayers with those who have been affected, spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said.
In March 2015, one person was killed in a firefight that erupted after a car with two people on board tried to ram a gate at Fort Meade.
In that incident, the driver ignored commands to stop, the NSA said, and barriers were deployed.
The vehicle accelerated, the NSA said, and agency police opened fire. The vehicle crashed into a police vehicle.
One of the vehicle’s occupants died at the scene, the NSA said. The other was taken to a local hospital with a gunshot wound to the chest, according to a firefighter who was at the scene.
—This story will be updated.
Baltimore Sun reporters Kevin Rector and Ian Duncan, Baltimore Sun Media Group reporter Rachel Pacella and the Associated Press contributed to this story.