Trump’s Mar-a-Lago security breach: Officials fire shots at SUV that ran checkpoints, Connecticut woman charged

Mar-a-Lago Resort

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

Law enforcement officials fired shots at a vehicle that breached two security checkpoints Friday at President Donald Trump‘s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, police said.

Two women were taken into custody shortly after the incident at the Palm Beach resort, which Trump is scheduled to visit later Friday, police said.

Police said they arrested a 30-year-old Connecticut resident, Hannah Roemhild, who allegedly was driving the SUV alone, withhout a passenger, when it crashed through the barriers at speeds in excess of 70 mph.

The other woman was apparently picked up by Roemhild after the SUV sped away from Mar-a-Lago.

Roemhild’s vehicle, which was rented, had multiple gunshots in it, police said. But no injuries were reported. 

“We’re gonna fire when our lives are our danger, and there’s a danger to the public,” said Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw when asked what led to authorities shooting at Roemhild’s car,.

“This is not a terrorist, this is someone who was impaired somehow,” Bradshaw said. “Someone who was driving very recklessly.”

Police are seeking a search warrant for a motel room where Roemhild was apprehended about 15 minutes after the incident began.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that officers from the Florida Highway Patrol had been pursuing a black SUV that was headed toward checkpoints at Mar-a-Lago at around 11:40 a.m. ET.

“The SUV breached both security check points heading towards the main entrance,” the sheriff’s office said.

“Officials … discharged their firearms at the vehicle.”

The SUV then fled, while being chased by the highway patrol and by a sheriff’s office helicopter.

The vehicle was later located, and two people were taken into custody.

Officials have scheduled a news conference for 3 p.m. ET.

The White House and Mar-a-Lago did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This is the second security breach at Mar-a-Lago this month.

On Jan. 6, police said an unspecified incident was reported at the resort.

Palm Beach police opened an investigation, the Miami Herald reported at the time. Police said then that the Secret Service was leading the investigation and there had been no arrests.

In November, Chinese businesswoman Yujing Zhang was sentenced to eight months in jail after being convicted of trespassing at Mar-a-Lago.

Zhang last March had passed by at least five Secret Service agents and into the main reception area of Mar-a-Lago before she was intercepted by officers, according to a criminal complaint.

After she was detained, Zhang was found at the resort carrying four mobile phones, a laptop computer, an external hard drive and a thumb drive that “contained malicious software,” the complaint said.

At the time of the incident, Trump was playing golf at the Trump International course nearby.

A federal judge ordered her to be deported after serving her sentence.

A second Chinese woman, Lu Jing, was arrested in December for allegedly trespassing at Mar-a-Lago and refusing to leave, Palm Beach police said. She was ordered jailed pending trial because she was in the United States on an expired visa.

Trump was not at the resort at the time.

Read more: Secret Service reportedly conducting investigation at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago following incident

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