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Critical Infrastructure News

2nd shooting suspect sought in College Park

A search is underway for a suspect after a security guard was shot early Tuesday morning on the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park, campus police said.  A guard was shot shortly after 1 a.m. near the University of Maryland University College Inn and Conference Center, in the area of Adelphi Road and University Boulevard. The victim was taken to the hospital, and is in critical condition.  Campus police believe two people were involved in what they say was an armed robbery. One has been arrested in a wooded area across from the conference center; the search for a second person is underway.

University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell said later Tuesday morning that the two suspects came in the back of the conference center and were confronted by two guards, both of whom were unarmed.  Mitchell said that the two men made off with several portable safes. The university police called the Prince George’s County K9 police units, who searched the area, finding the safes and a gun were found in the bushes across the street; one suspect was found in the nearby woods.

“It wasn’t a random act; it was targeted; it was planned,” Mitchell said. Asked how the suspects knew to look for safes in the back of the conference center, Mitchell replied that that was “a good question,” and that they were continuing to investigate. The safes haven’t been opened yet.

Mitchell added that the university has 400 video cameras that are monitored 24/7, and that there’s “a good chance that we have suspect No. 2 on video.” If the cameras produce a good image of the second suspect, they’ll release it as soon as possible, he said. The second suspect had a full-face mask on, however, Mitchell said.  Mitchell said that the second suspect should be considered armed and dangerous, but the all-clear has been given for the campus.

Source: WTOP

FBI Uses 930 Club to Train for Active Shooting Situations

The FBI used a well-known Washington, D.C., nightclub as a training spot in an effort to better respond to active shooter situations.  Heavily-armed agents and unmarked law enforcement vehicles surrounded the popular 930 Club near the U Street entertainment area on Monday. They went into the building, but they kept their tactics hidden from public view.

“The agents were there for preparedness training,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge David Sundberg with the FBI counterterrorism team. “Responses to active shooter or other threat calls that we may get. We train at a wide variety of venues. Today happened to be the 930 Club.”

Agents carried mock-ups of powerful weapons during the exercise.  The show of force reminded passersby of the Orlando mass shooting in June that killed 49 people.  Throughout the national capital region, many of the hundreds of nightclubs and nighttime entertainment locations have improved and increased their security.

"D.C. nightlife establishments engage in year-round efforts to provide a safe and secure environment for patrons,” according to a statement from the D.C. Nightlife Hospitality Association. “These precautions are not readily apparent or discussed by operators in order to maintain their effectiveness."

The FBI said there are no specific threats in the Washington region but said businesses and customers need to be alert, not afraid.

“The first call is always 911, if something emergency happens,” said Sundberg. “It is going to be local police response first, and that is the most critical.”


Source: NBC4 Washington


Video: WUSA9

State of emergency declared in Howard County; 2 dead

Extensive flooding that left left two people dead and damaged dozens of buildings and more than 170 cars prompted the governor to declare a state of emergency in Howard County. More than six inches of rain fell within hours Saturday night, causing flooding, particularly in Ellicott City.  Many businesses were gutted by flood water. Crews were also working to clear downed power lines. A county building inspector said about 200 buildings on Main Street have been checked, and that as many as four to five buildings were destroyed and 20-30 buildings were damaged.

Maryland State Police Superintendent Col. William Pallozzi said officials are asking people to stay away from the Ellicott City area so crews can work on repairs and cleanup. More than 40 troopers are in Ellicott City to help county police provide security. No one is allowed in the Main Street area, including business owners and residents.  "We are in a state of emergency in that area and no one other than emergency personnel are allowed in that area to include residents and also to include business people," Howard County Police Chief Gary Gardner said. "We will work as quickly as possible, and when that opportunity becomes available, we will allow those individuals to go back down to their businesses. We will be providing security 24/7 in that area to ensure that no one goes into those homes or businesses unauthorized." Gov. Larry Hogan was at the Howard County Emergency Center early Sunday with county officials and toured damaged areas later in the morning.

"People's lives in this community are going to be changed forever," Hogan said. "It was shocking and devastating, but what was incredible -- that was the bad side of it, seeing the terrible devastation. The good side, was watching some really heroic rescues, and seeing the first responders, and just the neighbors that were helping each other out of their cars as they were floating by." The governor said the community will need help from the state and federal governments to rebuild.  Officials said there were hundreds of water rescues throughout the night.

Source: WBALTV


Six Flags America Park Receives Bomb Threat

A bomb squad is searching the Six Flags America amusement park in Maryland on Wednesday morning after the park received a threat, officials say.  The park in Upper Marlboro is closed as a Prince George's County Fire Department bomb squad investigates. Fire officials say the park received a threat shortly after 10 a.m. about an explosive device in the park.  A crew found two packages.  Both packages were deemed non-explosive by 1:15.  Crews will conduct a complete search of the interior of the park.

Source: NBC 4

Woman hospitalized after irritant released at Towson mall

Someone released an irritant on the third floor of the Towson mall Tuesday night, causing firefighters to evacuate the area and send a pregnant woman to the hospital as a precaution, firefighters said.  A canister, found near a store, was described by firefighters as something similar to pepper spray.  Crews arrived about 8:30 p.m. and evacuated people from near the store. However, the mall closed at 9 p.m., so most shoppers were already leaving.


Source: Baltimore Sun