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Security alert as man shot at White House

By Staff Reporter

Published 21/05/2016

The White House was placed in lockdown yesterday after a man was shot outside the building.

The attack, which occurred shortly before 3pm local time, happened within view of sightseers, with the surrounding pavements crowded with families, school groups and government workers at the time.

The White House was placed on a security alert for about an hour after the shooting.

President Barack Obama was not there at the time - he was playing golf - but vice-president Joe Biden's office said he was in the building but was secure during the lockdown.

Community activist Akil Patterson said he heard a single gunshot while he waited in a security queue to enter the White House. Within seconds, a security guard shouted for people to drop to the ground, and he was evacuated to the street.

Mr Patterson was at the White House to get a presidential award for his work with Baltimore teenagers. He said his community projects aimed to "get rid of the notion that gun violence is the answer".

Sightseer Jenna Noelle, from Austin, Texas, had just taken a photo in front of the White House when she noticed a man harassing an agent.

She said: "As we were walking away, we heard a shot fired, then some people started running away and agents had guns and were evacuating people."

District of Columbia Fire and EMS spokesman Doug Buchanan said one person was taken to a nearby hospital in a critical condition.

Belfast Telegraph

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