Man fatally shoots self outside White House
President Trump was at Mar-a-Lago at the time of the shooting but was briefed on the incident.
WASHINGTON—Am an standingalone amid a crowd of more than 100 people shot himself along the north fence line of the White House midday Saturday, according to witnesses.
Philipos Melaku-Bello, who was manning a nearby peace vigil, said the gunman was standing just inside the sidewalk on Pennsylvania Avenue, across from Lafayette Square. Melaku-Bello heard two shots fired in quick succession before he saw the man drop to the ground as people fled the area.
The man was identified by the Secret Service and the city’s Metropolitan Police Department, but his name was not immediately released so authorities could notify his relatives.
The incident began at about 11:46 a.m. when the man approach the fence, “removed a concealed handgun and fired several rounds, none of which appear at this time to have been directed towards the White House,” Mason F. Brayman, assistant special agent in charge for the Secret Service, said in a statement.
“Guns again!” someone shouted. “Guns again!”
One video posted on Twitter showed hundreds of people sprinting away as sirens blared in the background and emergency vehicles sped toward the scene.
“Do you think that was shots?” one woman asked, before she began to sob.
No one else was injured, according to the Secret Service, which also said in a tweet that the man was being treated for the wound.
President Donald Trump was at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida at the time of the shooting but was briefed on the incident.
Law enforcement officers gather in front of the White House after the area was closed to pedestrian traffic Saturday. His identity was not released because authorities had not yet notified his next of kin.