WASHINGTON —Two people tried to ram their vehicle into the National Security Agency’s entrance gates near Washington on Monday before guards shot one of them dead, officials said.
The two, who were dressed in women’s clothes and may be transgender, tried to ram a sport utility vehicle into an entrance gate at the spy agency’s Fort Meade, Maryland, headquarters, a senior U.S. 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.
Several federal law enforcement officials told Reuters two people tried to ram the gate and then attempted a U-turn. NSA guards began firing at the vehicle, one of the officials said.
One person was killed and the other was seriously injured in the incident. An NSA police officer was also injured and taken to the hospital.
“The shooting scene is contained and we do not believe it is related to terrorism,” the FBI said in a statement. “We are investigating with NSA police and other law enforcement agencies.”
The FBI added it was working with the U.S. attorney’s office in Maryland to determine whether federal charges were warranted.
NBC News, quoting unnamed sources, said the two, dressed as women, were driving a stolen car. A gun and drugs were found in the vehicle, a Ford Escape, the network said.
In a statement to workers, Fort Meade said two individuals “attempted to run the gate and were shot as a result,” adding there was a “heightened alert status” at the U.S. Army base, which is about 20 miles northeast of Washington.
Television helicopter video 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.
An NSA spokeswoman had no immediate comment.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.