Secret Service agents guarding President Joe Biden’s granddaughter Naomi Biden opened fire after three people attempted to break into an unmarked agency vehicle in Washington D.C. late Sunday night, an official confirmed.
Agents Assigned to Protect Naomi Biden
The agents involved in the shooting were assigned to protect the president’s granddaughter Naomi Biden, according to a law enforcement source.
They witnessed three suspects breaking a window of the parked and empty Secret Service SUV in Georgetown around 10 p.m. Sunday.
In response, one agent fired their weapon, but no one appeared to be struck. The three suspects fled in a red car.
Massive Rise in Carjackings, Auto Thefts
The attempted break-in underscores soaring rates of carjackings and auto thefts afflicting Washington D.C. Police have reported over 750 carjackings and 6,000 stolen vehicles so far this year.
In late September, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) was carjacked by three armed perpetrators just blocks from the U.S. Capitol. The assailants stole his car but did not physically harm him.
Violent Crime Also Spiking in Capital
Beyond car thefts, violent crime has jumped over 40% in 2022 compared to last year amid ongoing public safety concerns in the nation’s capital.
In February, Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) was assaulted in her D.C. apartment building, suffering bruises. And in April, a 15-year-old boy was shot by a Derek Chauvin protester after brandishing a handgun near police.
Secret Service Bolstering Protection
The attempted break-in of the Secret Service vehicle underscores the importance of tight protective measures for those under the agency’s guard.
Protecting the president’s family remains a paramount priority for the Secret Service as crime near the White House increases. The agency is bolstering tactical capabilities and awareness.
Secret Service Mandate and Duties
The Secret Service is mandated to provide protection for the president, vice president, their immediate families, former presidents, visiting dignitaries, and other designated individuals.
In addition to security, the agency investigates financial and cyber crimes in a wide-ranging mission portfolio safeguarding America’s critical institutions and financial infrastructure.
The Secret Service was originally founded in 1865 to combat counterfeiting money. Protecting top officials became an official mandate in 1901 after the assassination of President William McKinley.
Reaction to Rising Crime in Washington
The attempted break-in and ongoing crime wave has renewed calls for action from Washington officials and law enforcement groups.
The D.C. police union declared a “public safety emergency” in July, appealing for National Guard assistance. The mayor and police chief insist current resources can control the situation.
But critics say DC’s limited ability to enact stricter gun laws hampers crime reduction efforts. Gun arrests have soared 900% since 2020’s record lows.
Impact on Public Perception
Surging high-profile crime near federal government buildings and officials may undermine public confidence and take a toll on the nation’s psyche.
DC’s reputation as an urban area defiantly overcoming past crime waves is also threatened. maintaining social order and civic trust depends on combating this pivotal reversal.
With violent crime impacting areas once considered “safe,” a psychology of vulnerability could emerge that must be countered by community resilience.
As agencies like the Secret Service bolster vigilance amid the climate, the public must avoid withdrawal and deterrence from enjoying the capital’s cultural treasures.