WASHINGTON – The man who at noon on Saturday, for unknown motives, set off all the alarms in Washington when he shot himself outside the White House has finally been pronounced dead, officials announced.
“The subject is deceased. The subject approached the vicinity of the North White House fence line and removed a concealed handgun and fired several rounds, none of which appear at this time to have been directed towards the White House,” the Secret Service said in a statement.
The incident occurred at 11:46 am Saturday when the person, whose identity is known but has not been revealed by the authorities, fired the shot outside the presidential residence, which led emergency management services to close the nearby streets to traffic.
At first the Secret Service, which is the agency in charge of protecting the president and his family, said the suspect did not die on the spot, but was urgently taken to a nearby hospital.
Though the shooter’s motives are unknown, Washington’s metropolitan police are investigating the case.
At the time of the gunshot, neither US President Donald Trump nor first lady Melania Trump were in the building, since both were on their way to Palm Beach, Florida, where the couple owns the Mar-a-Lago resort, now otherwise known as the “winter White House.”
The gunshot come just days after Feb. 23, when a woman who apparently suffers from mental disorders, and who was later identified as Jessica Ford, crashed her vehicle into one of the security barricades that protect the presidential residence.
According to authorities at the time, no member of the security forces was injured in the incident, nor was there any need to use arms at the scene of the crash, although, just as happened this Saturday, police deemed it necessary to close a number of streets around the White House.
A number of similar incidents have been done in recent years by individuals who leaped over the fence around the White House, and which have led to the gradual increase in security around the perimeter of the presidential residence.