WASHINGTON - Secret Service agents protecting President Joe Biden’s granddaughter opened fire after three people tried to break into an unmarked government vehicle in D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood, authorities say.
The agents were assigned to protect Naomi Biden and were out with her just before midnight Sunday when they saw three people breaking a window of the parked and unoccupied Secret Service SUV, the Associated Press reported.
"A federal agent discharged a service weapon and it is believed no one was struck," USSS chief of communications Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement posted to X, formerly Twitter. "The offenders immediately fled the scene in a red vehicle and a regional lookout was issued to supporting units. There was no threat to any protectees and the incident is being investigated by the DC Metropolitan Police Department and the Secret Service."
Andy Cline has lived in D.C. for about 20 years. He lives near Georgetown University and runs a dog-walking business, frequently walking through neighborhoods in the area.
Cline said, unfortunately, car break-ins and burglaries are not uncommon.
"I see a lot of broken windows from smash and grabs. I’ve never encountered anyone doing it, but I’ve recovered backpacks and laptops. I try to give it back to the owner, so I’ve done that for years. Smash and grabs are really common nowadays," he said. "I’m not surprised. I’m surprised I don’t actually witness the people doing it, so they’re very good at what they do."
Megan Hearst said she heard a noise outside her home late Sunday night but didn’t think much of it, let alone think it was a gunshot.
"That’s the interesting thing about living in D.C. You can be going about your daily business and then something absolutely extraordinary – involving world events – could be happening right next door and not fully be aware of it," Hearst said. "This just kind of shows this is a very dynamic city to live in, and you never quite know what’s happening until the day after something."
The nation's capital has seen a significant rise in the number of carjackings and car thefts this year.
According to crime data published online by the D.C. police department, there have been 6,112 reports of motor vehicle theft so far this year in the District. That's a 98% increase from the same time frame as last year. As of Monday, 863 carjacking offenses have been reported so far this year. Of those, 635 have involved firearms. Violent crime in the District has also risen 39% so far this year.
In October, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas was carjacked near the Capitol by three armed assailants, who stole his car but didn't physically harm him. In February, U.S. Rep. Angie Craig of Minnesota was assaulted in the elevator of her Washington apartment building.
Earlier this month, a crime bill drew pushback for stop and frisk and other search measures opponents say would worsen police-community relationships.
Several businesses across the city have reported shutting down over crime concerns in the District.
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