President Trump on Monday was abruptly escorted away from the White House briefing room just a few minutes after taking the podium for a press briefing, but quickly returned to tell reporters, “There was a shooting outside of the White House.”
Describing what he knew about the situation, the president said it “seems” an armed person was shot by Secret Service and had been taken to the hospital.
The Secret Service provided details of the shooting in a tweet late Monday. A 51-year-old male allegedly approached a Uniformed Division officer who was standing at his post on the corner of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House. The man told the agent he had a weapon and, while he approached, took off in a sprint and “in a drawing motion, withdrew an object from his clothing,” the statement read.
“The suspect then crouched into a shooter’s stance as if about to fire a weapon,” the statement read. At that point, the agent fired his weapon and struck the subject in the torso.
That intersection is right outside the White House grounds.
The Secret Service said in a tweet that a male subject and a USSS officer were both transported to a local hospital. “At no time during this incident was the White House complex breached or were any protectees in danger,” the agency said, adding the investigation is ongoing.
A law enforcement source told Fox News it appears the wounds to the suspect in the officer-involved shooting are not fatal.
There was a brief, joint press conference late Monday night with the Secret Service and the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department that stressed that the investigation was in its early stages. City police will play a supporting role.
On Monday afternoon, several minutes after initially taking the podium, someone – who appeared to be a Secret Service agent – told the president shots had been fired outside before Trump stopped and walked out of the room.
“Excuse me?” the president said to the agent before exiting.
Fox News’ John Roberts reported hearing the sound of gunshots outside the White House as the briefing began.
After returning to the podium, Trump said a shooting took place outside the premises of the White House near the fence. He said more information would be released later.
The president said he was not taken to the White House bunker, but was rather ushered to the Oval Office.
When a reporter asked the president, “Are you rattled by this at all, Mr. President?” Trump replied, “Do I seem rattled?”
The president then moved on to discussing other issues, including the stock market and the coronavirus crisis.
Multiple sources told Fox News there is no believed threat to the Capitol after the White House incident.
After the president’s remarks, the White House was still on lockdown, with press told to stay in the briefing room. By 7:30 p.m., the lockdown had been lifted.
Several White House officials and aides, including Ivanka Trump, expressed their appreciation to the Secret Service after the incident.