FORT MEADE, Md. (ABC7) — After police shot at them when they mistakenly drove onto the grounds of the National Security Agency headquarters on February 14, the driver and one of the two passengers talked with ABC7.
NSA Police say they opened fire on the SUV and the three people inside after their unauthorized vehicle went through a checkpoint and didn’t immediately make a U-turn as ordered.
“It was a wrong turn,” the 17-year-old unlicensed driver says. “It was GPS.”
The driver and the front-seat passenger describe an innocent wrong turn onto NSA property that went terribly wrong when the driver came face to face with police, panicked, and made a nearly fatal mistake.
The 17-year-old boy was driving because his older friend was tired. He says when one officer spoke to him through the window and another pounded his hood he panicked and pulled off.
They say the officers shot through the windshield, the side window, and the back window.
The teen showed ABC7 the stitches on his head where he says a bullet grazed him and a mark he says came from a stun gun on his face.
None of the three in the car have been charged with anything.
The boys’ mother wonders why police had to open fire.
“It’s a better way they could have handled things,” she says.
Federal authorities haven’t said much about the sequence of events but a law enforcement source says the whole incident could have been averted had the young driver simply stopped and turned when ordered to.
Instead, he spent a full minute evading authorities and while they now believe it was a stupid mistake, at the time they couldn’t know it wasn’t an attack.