MAR-A-LAGO, Fla. (WSVN/AP) — Police have taken a woman into custody after a security breach at the Mar-a-Lago estate ended in a police-involved shooting.
According to the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, 30-year-old Hannah Roehmild, who is from Middletown, Connecticut, was driving a black SUV erratically and refused to stop.
“It shocked me,” a family friend of the suspect, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said over the phone. “Totally uncharacteristic of this young lady. She’s a very talented, hard-working individual. This is not how she lives up here. This is not how she is.”
Florida Highway Patrol troopers were following the black SUV when it blew through two security check points on the property, Friday, at around 11:40 a.m. The breach forced Secret Service agents to open fire.
“We can confirm that local law enforcement and Secret Service discharged their weapons at the vehicle,” Brian Swain, the Secret Service’s Special Agent in Charge of its Miami office, said.
Ten minutes earlier, PBSO said Roehmild began behaving erratically by dancing on top of a car at The Breakers Resort, located north of Mar-a-Lago.
A FHP trooper followed the 30-year-old to her rental Jeep, tapped her window to get her attention, and she began reversing while he was still tapping on her window.
According to PBSO, the trooper broke the window to get her to stop reversing, but she drove away southbound on A1A.
Officers fired shots at the vehicle as it headed towards the main entrance of the estate.
“When she approached the Mar-a-Lago area, she crashed through the first checkpoint, putting some lives of the people that were involved at the checkpoint there [at risk], proceeded to the second checkpoint, crashed through there,” Palm Beach Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said. “The deputies and the Secret Service agents that were there moved out of the way just in time.”
Authorities lost sight of the Jeep, which was headed west. A license plate reader captured her rental car at Studio 6, a nearby motel.
“We alerted FHP; they had units in the area and actually spotted the vehicle again,” Bradshaw said. “That trooper followed that vehicle to a local motel where the driver jumped out and was trying to flee to a room. The trooper did a great job, tackled her and took her into custody there.”
Based on a preliminary investigation, investigators believe that Roehmild approached the checkpoint at a high rate of speed and did not appear to brake in any way, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on condition in anonymity in order to discuss the investigation.
The checkpoint, a series of concrete barriers and armed officers, is blocks away from the actual resort.
Roemhild is an opera singer and was in West Palm Beach for a show, and she did not have a prior criminal history. Her motive for her actions remain under investigation.
There was a second woman in the Jeep when the intrusion and shooting occurred, but it remains unclear if the other woman was taken into custody.
Investigators believe the opera singer was impaired and did not intend to attack the president or make her way onto the property.
Despite the shots being fired towards and hitting the Jeep, the 30-year-old was not hit by gunfire.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the shooting.
The FBI also responded to the scene.
The president was not at the resort at the time. However, he arrived there later in the day.
Mar-a-Lago has been the scene of several intrusions since Donald Trump became president.
The 30-year-old faces several charges that include assault on a federal officer.
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