March 31, 2015 / 6:40 PM / 5 years ago

Driver slain at U.S. spy agency was Baltimore man with criminal record

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Baltimore man with a criminal record was the driver shot dead by National Security Agency guards when he and another man, dressed as women, tried to crash their stolen SUV into the spy agency’s gates, according to court records on Tuesday.

A police car blocks one of many entrance points into the National Security Administration facility in Fort Meade, Maryland March 30, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

The FBI’s Baltimore office identified the driver as Ricky Shawatza Hall, 27. The agency is investigating Monday’s incident at NSA headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland, about 20 miles northeast of Washington, and the statement gave no motive.

The FBI said the agency did not believe the incident was related to terrorism.

A man who was Hall’s passenger is being treated in a hospital for gunshot wounds. An injured NSA Police officer was released from a hospital on Monday, the statement said.

Hall and the unidentified passenger “were dressed as females but not in an attempt to disguise themselves from authorities,” it said.

Maryland court records showed Hall, a Baltimore resident, was on probation after pleading guilty in 2013 to robbery. He had two charges of violating probation.

Hall used a number of aliases, and charges of assault, theft and disorderly conduct against him were closed in 2013, records showed. A 2008 robbery count was dropped by prosecutors.

Officials said on Monday the passenger also was from Baltimore.

A Howard County police spokeswoman said the sport utility vehicle that Hall tried to drive through the NSA entrance was stolen on Monday from a hotel in Jessup, Maryland.

The NSA said in a statement on Monday that the men failed to follow directions to leave the gate area. The car sped toward an NSA Police car blocking the road at the gate.

Officers fired when the driver refused to stop, and the SUV crashed into the police car, the NSA said.

Officials have said they cannot confirm media reports that weapons and drugs were found in the SUV.

The FBI said it was working with prosecutors to determine whether federal charges were warranted.

Reporting by Ian Simpson and Mark Hosenball; Editing by Eric Beech

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