Washington, May 21 (IANS) A man brandishing a weapon outside the White House grounds was shot down on Friday afternoon and now is taken into custody, a US Secret Service official confirmed.
The White House went into lockdown after the shooting incident and reopened nearly one hour after, Xinhua reported.
The shooting occurred at 3:06 pm local time when the adult male, carrying a firearm, approached an outer perimeter checkpoint of the White House, said David Lacovetti with the US Secret Service.
He said Secret Service officers had given numerous verbal commands for the man to stop and drop the gun but failed in vain. The man was shot once by a Secret Service agent and then rushed to a hospital for medical treatment.
At no time did the man access the White House complex and no one else was injured in the incident, said Lacovetti in a report issued by the White House.
“He was carrying a gun — it was a silver gun in clear sight, walked through the fence line,” a witness was quoted as saying.
“I saw the Secret Service and officers coming around him,” the witness said, adding, “They gave him multiple chances to stop his advance and he refused. He just kept walking.”
The man, in his early 30s, was then transported in critical condition.
Earlier reports from multi TV networks said the suspect allegedly opened fire on the White House complex.
US President Obama was on a golf outing at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland when the shooting occurred, according to the local media.