On Friday, a Secret Service employee shot down an armed suspect just outside the White House after the man had refused to hand down the weapon he was carrying.
Soon after, tourists in the area were dispersed while the building was temporarily put on lockdown. Vice President Biden who was inside was immediately taken to a safe room.
According to authorities, a single bullet hit the suspect in the chest. The man was taken to an Emergency Room moments later, but his condition remains critical. The police soon identified him as Jesse Olivieri from Pennsylvania.
Initially, investigators weren’t able to provide more details on the suspect or his motives, but people familiar with the matter recently told authorities that the 30-year-old man had suicidal thoughts when he approached a security service booth with a .22-caliber pistol in his hand.
Yet, this episode is not the first attempt to illegally enter the presidential complex. And authorities are now concerned over the possibility of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. But investigators analyzing this Friday’s shooting believe that the man doesn’t belong to any terrorist group.
The Secret Service reportedly urged the man to step away from the gate and drop the firearm he was holding. According to authorities, the man was given “numerous verbal commands” before he was gunned down.
As he failed to comply, he was shot once, seized, and arrested. His firearm was recovered. One witness who was present in the area recalls that a Secret Service agent rushed from a side door as another colleague was telling him via a station that the suspect was put down.
Other witnesses confirmed that they saw an armed young man wielding a pistol in his right arm approaching some officers before he was shot. Police said that they found the suspect’s vehicle a few blocks away. In the car, they found ammunition matching the man’s handgun.
Fortunately, the man wasn’t able to breach the White House’s safe perimeter. But authorities closed down all traffic between 16th and 17th Streets NW. Plus, a helicopter arrived at the scene while on-lookers were dispersed.
Other trespassers have tried to enter the facility for a multitude of reasons. While some were mentally ill, others wanted to protest or simply planned to be on the news quickly. A single suspect sought to enter the mansion to escape the police after he had committed a series of robberies.
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