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Maryland man facing federal charge after shooting outside Secret Service facility

The Hill logo The Hill 2/27/2021 Lexi Lonas
a person wearing a costume: Maryland man facing federal charge after shooting outside Secret Service facility © Getty Maryland man facing federal charge after shooting outside Secret Service facility

A Maryland man is facing a federal weapons charge after allegedly engaging in gunfire outside a Secret Service facility on Thursday night.

Federal prosecutors announced Friday that a federal criminal complaint was filed against Jeremiah Peter Watson after he allegedly shot at authorities outside a Secret Service facility in the National Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Md.

Watson is being charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. The charge could get him up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Authorities say the man was driving a four-door sedan when he pulled up to the entry point of the facility and approached a security guard "in an aggressive manner."

The man was pepper-sprayed after authorities say he wouldn't listen to commands from officers to stop. The man returned to his car and started driving away before turning around and allegedly firing a gun at officers.

The officers retreated to the guardhouse because it had bullet-proof glass. Prosecutors say that authorities recovered three .9mm shell casings from the scene.

No officers were reportedly injured in the shooting but Park Police said an officer suffered non-life-threatening injuries after being injured in a car crash while responding to the incident, local media outlets reported.

Watson was arrested as officers were able to get his license plate and track down the owner of the sedan.

A federal search warrant was issued and authorities said they found a loaded handgun with shell casings that allegedly matched those found after the shooting.

The criminal complaint was presented by Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner and Acting Park Police Chief Gregory T. Monahan.

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