President Donald Trump was abruptly evacuated from a press briefing on Monday evening just minutes after he began speaking because of a shooting outside the White House.
“There was an actual shooting, and somebody has been taken to the hospital. I don’t know the condition of the person,” Trump told reporters after returning to the White House briefing room about nine minutes later.
“It was the suspect that was shot,” Trump added. He said that no one else was injured but that it was his understanding that the suspect had been armed.
The shooting took place near the White House fence, Trump said.
Law enforcement officials later said that an unidentified man was shot in the chest by a Secret Service uniformed division officer. Officials did not say why the man was shot, or whether he was armed.
The man was taken to George Washington University Hospital while unconscious, according to officials.
The Secret Service in a statement said that it could “confirm there has been an officer involved shooting at 17th Street and Pennsylvania Ave. Law enforcement officials are on the scene.”
The agency, which is responsible for protecting the president and his family, said more information would be released.
The briefing room was placed on lockdown immediately after the president exited, according to a pool report.
The press conference was interrupted almost as soon as it began after an aide approached the president and appeared to tell him that he would have to step outside.
Trump followed the aide out of the room and sheltered in the Oval Office, he said.
“I feel very safe with Secret Service, they’re fantastic people, they’re the best of the best, they’re highly trained,” the president said.
Trump said that he was not shaken by the incident.
“I don’t know, do I seem rattled?” he said when a reporter asked if he was rattled.
“The world has been, you look back over the centuries, the world has been a dangerous place, a very dangerous place.”
The president then returned to briefing reporters on the state of the economy after taking questions on the shooting, touting the rising stock market.