Hyattsville man faces firearm charge after shooting outside Secret Service facility in Beltsville

A Prince George’s County man has been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm following a shooting outside a Secret Service facility in Beltsville on Thursday, according to the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Jeremiah Peter Watson, 22, of Hyattsville, was charged Friday afternoon.

Watson drove his vehicle to the the gated entry of the Secret Service facility within the National Agricultural Research Center on Friday night, according to a federal criminal complaint filed by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner and Acting Chief of Police Gregory T. Monahan of the U.S. Park Police.

Watson excited his “dark four-door sedan” and approached a security guard “in an aggressive manner.” A second guard then came to assist, according to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint.

“Despite being given verbal commands to stop, the driver continued to approach and the security officer deployed pepper spray at the driver,” said the Department of Justice in a news release.

Watson then returned to his vehicle and attempted to flee the area before “another security officer and a Secret Service Officer” arrived to assist and the U.S. Park Police was called for further assistance, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Watson next made a U-turn and began to fire a handgun at the victims, who fled into the guard house, which has bulletproof glass, the prosecutor’s office said.

After making another U-turn, Watson continued to fire at the victims through the passenger window of his car, as detailed in the affidavit.

Watson was later arrested at his home, after being identified by one of the victims as the man police were looking for.

Authorities said they found a gun and the car they said were used by Watson on Thursday.

He is expected to have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt on Monday. If convicted, Watson faces up to 10 years in federal prison for illegal possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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