President Donald Trump was abruptly evacuated from a press briefing at the White House on Monday evening after a man who claimed he had a weapon was shot by a U.S. Secret Service officer just outside the White House complex.
“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 after he was asked to leave that room by a Secret Service officer.
“It was the suspect that was shot,” Trump added.
He said that no one else was injured, but also said that it was his understanding that the suspect had been armed.
The shooting took place near the White House fence, Trump said.
The Secret Service hours later said that a 51-year-old man approached a Secret Service officer at the officer’s post on 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House complex, and told the officer that he had a weapon.
The man then turned and ran toward the officer, withdrawing an object from his clothing, and crouching as if he was about to fire a weapon in a “shooter’s stance,” according to the Secret Service, which is responsible for protecting the president and his family.
The officer then shot the man, striking him in the torso.
The man was immediately given first aid, and Washington, D.C., police and fire units were called to the scene, the Secret Service said.
The man and the officer then were taken to George Washington University Hospital.
The agency did not answer questions about whether the man actually had a gun, or if the officer was injured, according to NBC News.
Nor did the Secret Service identify the man who was shot.
Trump’s 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.
The briefing room was placed on lockdown immediately after the president exited, according to a pool report.
When Trump returned, he told reporters the reason he had been ushered out of the room.
“I feel very safe with Secret Service, they’re fantastic people, they’re the best of the best, they’re highly trained,” Trump 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 resumed talking to reporters on the state of the economy after taking questions on the shooting, touting the rising stock market.