President Donald Trump was abruptly escorted by a U.S. Secret Service agent out of the White House briefing room as he was beginning a coronavirus briefing Monday afternoon. He returned minutes later, saying there was a “shooting” outside the White House that was “under control.”
The Secret Service said a man and a Secret Service officer were taken to the hospital. The suspect may have serious or critical injuries. The condition of the officer and the nature of his injuries was not immediately released.
“There was an actual shooting and somebody’s been taken to the hospital,” Trump said. The president said the shots were fired by law enforcement, saying he believed the individual who was shot was armed. “It was the suspect who was shot,” Trump said.
Trump said he was escorted to the Oval Office by the agent. The White House was placed on lockdown following the incident.
The Secret Service said the suspect, a 51-year-old man, approached a uniformed Secret Service officer and said he had a weapon. The suspect allegedly turned around, then ran "aggressively" toward the officer. The agency said the man did a "drawing motion," pulled an object from his clothing and crouched into a shooter's stance.
The officer fired, hitting the suspect in the torso, the Secret Service said.
After other officers and paramedics were called to the scene, both the suspect and the officer were taken to the hospital. The District of Columbia fire department said the suspect suffered serious or possibly critical injuries. The Secret Service did not say what injuries the officer suffered.
The White House grounds were not breached, the Secret Service said.
Law enforcement officials were still trying to determine the suspect's motive. Authorities were investigating whether the individual has a history of mental illness.
Trump praised the work of Secret Service personnel for their work in keeping him safe. Asked if he was shaken by the incident, Trump asked reporters: “I don’t know. Do I seem rattled?”
Reuters White House reporter Jeff Mason tweeted that the briefing room doors were locked after the president left.