by Brian Garvey ’20
On Wednesday, February 14, a vehicle attempted to force its way into the front entrance of the National Security Agency Headquarters in Maryland. After stopping the vehicle, shots were fired, but no injuries or fatalities related to firearms were reported. Three men were taken into custody, with the driver currently in the hospital due to injuries sustained during the crashing of the car.
An NSA police officer and a civilian onlooker were injured as well, but no serious injuries have been reported. The NSA is a national-level security agency and a wing of the U.S. Department of Defense. Specializing in global monitoring, collection, and processing of information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes, the NSA has been riddled with political controversy over the tracking and storing of “metadata,” or the personal information of millions of citizens.
The FBI special agent in charge, Gordon Johnson, said, “We don’t believe there is a nexus to terrorism, we believe this was an isolated incident. We are still trying to figure out why they were there. We’re still in the fact-collecting business right now.” The driver and two other men have not had their identities made public, and the two uninjured men are currently under questioning with the FBI. At this point in time, the FBI has said that this is not an act of terrorism, but rather an isolated incident. Law enforcement sources told news sources that the suspects were not “targeting” the NSA or Fort Meade. It is unclear whether they were running from local police, but they ended up at the gate, crashed through it, and then tried to exit the gate. The incident shut down MD 32 in both directions at Canine Road during rush hour. Anne Arundel County fire personnel assisted the Fort Meade Fire Department and cleared the scene around 8:45 a.m. Maryland State Highway Administration reopened the road before 9 a.m. This is not the first time an incident like this has occurred at the NSA front gate. In May 2015, two people attempted to drive a stolen SUV through the front gate, resulting in one being shot and killed and the other injured.
According to the White House, President Donald Trump has been “briefed on the shooting” at Fort Meade. “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that has been affected,” said spokeswoman Lindsay Walters in a statement. “We will continue to provide updates as they become available.”
by Gabriella Pisano ’18
A shooting at a South Florida high school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, marks the 17th school shooting in the United States in 2018. While the story is still developing, as of Wednesday night many were injured and at least 17 were killed.
After having a fire drill earlier in the morning, the fire alarm was again pulled at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 14 when shots were fired at the high school in Parkland, Florida. Just last year, Parkland was named the safest city in the United States.
With a student body of around 3,000, the school was immediately evacuated. Some students and faculty locked themselves in classrooms while some left the building. The SWAT team and emergency responders rushed to the scene. Parents gathered outside the school waiting to hear from their children.
Fourteen-year-old Hannah Siren told a reporter, ”The people next door to us must have not locked their door. They all got shot.”
Nineteen-year-old suspect, Nicolas de Jesus Cruz is in custody. A former student of the high school, Cruz’s motive is still unknown. Jim Gard, a former teacher of Cruz, told the Miami Herald, ”There were problems with him last year threatening a student, and I guess he was asked to leave campus.”