President Donald Trump was abruptly taken out of the Brady Briefing Room on Monday during a daily session with reporters.
WASHINGTON – An internal investigation has been launched into the shooting of a 51-year-old suspect by a Secret Service officer near the White House complex late Monday, which prompted agents to briefly remove President Donald Trump from a press briefing.
Shortly before 6 p.m., a law enforcement official said, Myron Berryman of District Heights, Maryland, approached a uniformed Secret Service officer standing at his post about a block from the White House grounds and told the officer that he had a weapon and intended to use it.
“The suspect then turned around, ran aggressively towards the officer, and in a drawing motion, withdrew an object from his clothing,” the Secret Service said in an earlier statement. “He then crouched into a shooter’s stance as if about to fire a weapon.”
Berryman was shot twice in the torso, according to the law enforcement official who was not authorized to comment publicly. No firearm was found on Berryman, who was listed in stable condition Tuesday. The official did not identify the item that Berryman pulled from his clothing.
The official said assault charges were being prepared against Berryman.
The Secret Service officer, who was not identified, also was transported to a local hospital. He was not injured, but was evaluated by medical authorities before being released.
Although the White House complex was not breached and no government officials were threatened, the Secret Service interrupted Trump’s press briefing, which was being aired live, and escorted the president to an area near the Oval Office as a precaution.
Briefing interrupted: Trump abruptly taken out of briefing room as White House goes into lockdown
The president was in the middle of his opening statement when an agent came to his side and escorted him off the podium. Trump returned to the room after a few moments and reported that there had been a shooting outside the White House.
“It was law enforcement shot someone, it seems to be the suspect. And the suspect is now on the way to the hospital,” Trump said.
The Secret Service Office of Professional Responsibility is conducting an internal review of the officer’s actions and the D.C Metropolitan Police Department also has been asked to investigate.
“You were surprised, I was surprised also,” Trump said.
At the time, Trump said he wasn’t aware of the reason for the shooting.
“It might not have had anything to do with me,” Trump said. “It might have been something else.”
Asked if he was rattled by the experience, Trump responded: “Do I seem rattled?”
Lockdowns at the White House are relatively common and can happen for nearby shooters, breaches of the White House perimeter and even bags abandoned nearby. But it is rare for lockdowns to occur when the president is on stage and extremely rare for the president to be removed by Secret Service in the middle of remarks.
The last high-profile lockdown took place in May because of protesters outside the White House, demonstrating over the death of George Floyd.
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.
— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) August 10, 2020
Reporters inside the White House indicated the building was on lockdown shortly after the shooting. Trump professed little worry about his own safety.
“The world has always been a dangerous place,” Trump said. “That’s not something that’s unique.”
The president returned to the briefing room minutes later and, after fielding several questions about the shooting, returned to his prepared remarks.
“So I was telling you that the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 are now 50% above the March level,” he said.
“Spent twelve years in the Secret Service and I’ve never seen that before,” tweeted Dan Bongino, a Republican commentator and former Secret Service agent.
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/08/11/shooting-near-white-house-under-review-suspect-did-not-have-gun/3342734001/