A 60-year-old man, whose identity is not being released, picked up two cross-dressers in Baltimore, Maryland, and took them to the Terrace Motel in Elkridge to “party.” They checked in to the hotel at around 7:30 a.m. Approximately one hour later, the man went to the bathroom and when he returned, the cross-dressers and the keys to his wife’s Ford Escape were gone. The man did call the police and reported the Ford Escape as stolen. A little before 9 a.m., the SUV took the highway exit headed for the NSA’s restricted area at Fort Meade.
FBI spokesperson, Amy Thoreson, gave a statement Tuesday easing the public’s mind that this was not an act of terrorism. She also stated that although the men were dressed as women, it was not in an attempt to evade the police. The cross-dressers were prostitutes. However, it cannot be confirmed whether or not any sexual activity was involved. A spokesperson from Howard County would not discuss if drugs or alcohol where involved. However, a weapon and cocaine were discovered at the scene.
It is not known why the men were outside the NSA gate. However, since the motel was 12 minutes away, this could suggest the cross-dressing men may have taken a wrong turn. However, the exit and road are well marked letting drivers know that road leads to the restricted area of the NSA only. Even though there is plenty of signage showing the road leads to a restricted area, it is common for vehicles to accidently end up at the NSA security gates and have to be instructed on how to turn around. These two men refused to turn around.
The men were told to leave the area and did not just refuse, the driver then accelerated the vehicle and tried to ram the gate with the stolen Ford Escape. The driver, Ricky Shawatza Hall, sped up instead, into an NSA Police car that was blocking the road. It was then that NSA police officers opened fire on the two men.
The driver of the stolen SUV, Ricky Shawatza Hall, age 27 died at the scene. His passenger, Kevin Flemming, who was also dressed as a woman, is still hospitalized. An NSA police officer was also wounded and sent to the hospital for minor injuries. The NSA officer was treated and sent home. The condition of the passenger of the Ford Escape, Kevin Flemming, however, is unknown to the general public. Also, it is not known how the driver of the SUV died, but there has been speculation that he was shot when the NSA Police officers opened fire on the SUV. There is an open FBI investigation and they are working with the U.S. Attorney’s office as well to determine if federal charges are to be filed.
Hall did have a criminal record. He was charged for assaulting a woman and stealing her methadone in 2013. At the time of the assault, he had been wearing a yellow dress and was assumed to be a woman. Hall also has stolen a vest and skirt from a clothing store in Baltimore in 2014.
The NSA is the largest employer in Maryland. The NSA employs 11,000 military personnel and 29,000 civilian employees all given security clearances to get behind the barbed wire. Also, posted outside the gate preventing civilians without clearance from entering.
By Jeanette Smith