Shortly after the president’s coronavirus press briefing began on Monday, it was put on hold when a Secret Service agent came to the podium and whispered in Trump’s ear. The president and administration officials then walked out of the room, locking reporters inside. In the video of the briefing, it appears the Secret Service agent informs the president, “We have shots fired out back.”
After a tense few minutes, President Trump returned to the briefing room and told reporters that “there was a shooting outside of the White House, and it seems to be very well under control.” He said the suspect had been “shot by the Secret Service” and taken to the hospital, though he “did not know the condition of the person.” He added that he believed the person was armed and that the incident occurred near the White House fence, but “outside the premises.” (Following frequent demonstrations against police brutality this summer, the White House added more fencing blocking off the grounds.)
When asked if he was rattled by the event, the president answered, “I don’t know, do I seem rattled?” He added that “the world has always been a dangerous place.” Before returning to the briefing, Trump assured reporters that a full report would be available from the Secret Service, whom he praised as “terrific-looking people ready to go.”
Later in the evening, the Secret Service provided more detail, stating that a 51-year-old man approached a Secret Service officer at 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest. According to a spokesperson, the suspect informed the officer that he had a weapon, then withdrew “an object from his clothing” and crouched into a shooting position. The Secret Service agent then shot the man in the torso, at which point he was taken to a D.C. hospital.
This post has been updated.