(Updated 5/21/2016) WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. Secret Service officer shot a man with a gun who approached a checkpoint outside the White House and refused to drop his weapon, the Secret Service said.
Law enforcement officials investigate the scene near the entrance to the White House grounds on 17th and E Streets, Friday, May 20, 2016 in Washington, where a U.S. Secret Service agent shot a man with a gun who approached a checkpoint outside the White House on Friday afternoon and refused to drop his weapon, the Secret Service said. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
The White House was briefly placed on a security alert after the Friday afternoon shooting, which happened within view of sightseers as sidewalks were crowded with families, school groups and government workers.
The Metropolitan Police Department, the Secret Service, Park Police and the FBI said in a joint statement Friday night that there was “no known nexus to terrorism.”
The armed man approached the checkpoint on E Street shortly after 3 p.m., and ignored repeated orders from the officer to drop his gun, according to a statement from David Iacovetti, a Secret Service deputy assistant director.
The officer fired one shot at the man and the gun was recovered at the scene, Iacovetti said. The man was transported in critical condition to a nearby hospital, an emergency medical services spokesman said.
President Barack Obama was away playing golf, but Vice President Joe Biden was in the White House complex and was secured during the lockdown, his office said. The security alert was lifted about an hour later.
Security personnel stand along Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the North Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, May 20, 2016, after the White House was placed on a security alert. A uniformed Secret Service officer shot a person who drew a weapon just outside the White House Friday afternoon, a U.S. law enforcement official said. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
The gunman never made it inside the White House complex, and no one else was injured, the Secret Service said.
A U.S. law enforcement official said Friday evening that authorities had identified the gunman as Jesse Oliveri of Ashland, Pennsylvania, about 80 miles northwest of Philadelphia. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to release the information.
A message left at a home telephone number linked to Oliveri in Ashland wasn’t immediately returned Saturday.
Federal agents found ammunition inside a Toyota sedan, parked nearby on Constitution Avenue, that the gunman was believed to have driven, the official said.
Sightseer Jenna Noelle of Austin, Texas, said she had just taken a photo of the White House when she noticed a man harassing an agent.
Then, “as we were walking away we heard a shot fired, then some people started running away and agents had guns and were evacuating people.”
“I had a panic attack,” she added. “I’m doing OK now, but it was pretty freaky to be right there a second before it happened. Not really the experience we wanted,” she added.
Community activist Akil Patterson said he heard a single gunshot while waiting in a security line. Within seconds, a security guard shouted to drop to the ground, and then he was evacuated to the street.
Patterson said he was at the White House to get a presidential award for his work with Baltimore teens.
He says his community work aims to “get rid of the notion that gun violence is the answer.”
Associated Press writers David Dishneau in Hagerstown, Maryland; Ron Todt in Philadelphia and Kathleen Hennessey in Washington contributed to this report.