A dangerous situation outside the White House led to the Secret Service abruptly interrupting a President Trump press conference on Monday to escort him out of the room.
Several minutes after Trump initially took the podium, a Secret Service agent told the president shots had been fired outside. The president then stopped and walked out of the room.
The media was initially unsure of exactly what had occurred but some reported hearing the sound of gunshots outside the White House just as the press briefing began.
The president quickly returned to the presser and informed reporters of a shooting which took place near the White House fence saying, “There was a shooting outside of the White House.”
The president said it seems an armed person was shot by Secret Service and had been taken to the hospital. “It seems that the shooting was done by law enforcement,” he said before adding that there would be an official statement with more detail released later.
The president said he was not taken to the White House bunker, but was rather accompanied to the Oval Office while the Secret Service ensured his security.
A reporter then asked the president, “Are you rattled by this at all, Mr. President?” Trump replied, “Do I seem rattled?” He retorted that the world was always a “dangerous place.”
When a reporter asked him why he returned, Trump replied, “Well I didn’t even think about not coming back.”
A Several members of the press and other political commentators commended President Trump’s calm handling of the situation – pointing out that he did handled it all and offered high praise for his decision to return and finish the press conference.
The president along with a number of other White House officials offered praise for the Secret Service Several White House officials and aides, including Ivanka Trump, expressed their appreciation to the Secret Service after the incident.
The president said to reporters, “I have such confidence in these people,” adding, “they’re so good.”
The Secret Service later tweeted: “The Secret Service can confirm there has been an officer involved shooting at 17th Street and Pennsylvania Ave. Law enforcement officials are on the scene. More information to follow.” That intersection is right outside the White House grounds.
The Secret Service said in another tweet that a male subject and a USSS officer were both transported to a local hospital. “At no time during this incident was the White House complex breached or were any protectees in danger,” the agency said, adding the investigation is ongoing.
According to Fox News, the suspect involved in the shooting did not have fatal wounds.
While there appeared to be no immediate threat to the White House following the incident, it remained on lockdown until later in the evening and press were asked to stay in the briefing room for their safety. The lockdown was lifted by 7:30 p.m.
There was a brief, joint press conference late Monday night with the Secret Service and the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department that stressed that the investigation was in its early stages. City police will play a supporting role.