President Donald Trump abruptly withdrew from a press conference Monday at the White House after a shooting outside the president’s official residence.
As Trump made his presentation to reporters, a Secret Service agent approached him with a message and escorted him out of the room. Upon returning minutes later to the conference room, the president reported that there had been a shooting but that everything was “under control.”
“There was a real shooting and someone was taken to the hospital”said Trump, who explained that government agents had shot an allegedly armed person outside the White House fence. “It was the suspect who was shot,” said the president.
Trump said he remained in the Oval Office under the cover of the Secret Service. The White House was closed so that no one could enter or leave.
The president praised the Secret Service staff for their work to keep him safe.
“It is unfortunate that this is the world, but the world has always been a very dangerous place and will continue to be so for some time to come. It is not something that is unique, “said the president.
After returning to the conference room, Trump continued his presentation on the state of the coronavirus in the country for several more minutes.
The shooting took place near 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, a few blocks from the White House, they told The Associated Press two sources with knowledge of the situation who were not authorized to speak publicly. Agents were still trying to determine the suspect’s motive.
The agency later reported that the man and a Secret Service officer had been taken to a hospital after the incident.
The District of Columbia fire department said the man suffered serious or possibly critical injuries.
The approximately 51-year-old man approached a Secret Service officer and said he was armed, then turned and ran toward the agent, pretending to pull an object out of his clothing, when he was shot in the chest by part of the officer, the agency said in a statement.
“At no point during this incident was the White House compound violated or was any protégé in danger,” the Secret Service said.
Authorities were investigating whether the person has a history of mental illness.