Washington, DC police have confirmed a man died from a “self-inflicted gunshot wound” following an incident at 11:46 am at the north fence of the White House. Authorities are contacting the man’s next of kin, RT reports.
“Adult male has been declared deceased. We are working to notify next of kin,” the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPD) posted in a tweet on Saturday afternoon, two hours after initial reports from the US Secret Service of a shooting incident. A security cordon was established at the scene immediately after it was secured.
Footage circulating in the US media appeared to show an adult male lying on the ground at the scene. The Secret Service confirmed that there were no other injuries apart from the shooter, who reportedly died from a single gunshot wound despite firing multiple rounds from a handgun, according to a Secret Service statement. Officers did not fire any shots when responding to the incident. The Secret Service confirmed that no one else was injured in the shooting.
The MPD will be the lead investigative organization for this shooting, supported by the US Secret Service Washington Field Office and other law enforcement organizations.
"We are aware of the incident," White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said, as quoted by CNN. "The president has been briefed. I refer you to the Secret Service for any more information."
The incident prompted increased security at the White House, with reporters being temporarily sent to the basement, according to CBS News. The outlet posted photos of witnesses talking to law enforcement.
The man took his own life just two hours before President Donald Trump was scheduled to return to the White House following a trip to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, this weekend. Trump has yet to officially comment on the incident.