Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Man arrested in White House shooting probe
Washington - A man wanted in connection with a White House shooting incident was arrested Wednesday in Pennsylvania, the U.S. Secret Service announced.
Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, who was arrested by Pennsylvania State Police near Indiana, Pennsylvania, was allegedly involved in a shooting Friday night that may be responsible for two bullets found at the White House.
One bullet hit a window and was stopped by bulletproof glass, and another was found on the White House exterior, the Secret Service said. Both bullets were found Tuesday.
There is no specific concern for President Barack Obama's safety, a Secret Service official not authorized to speak on the record.
The bullets were found on the south side of the White House.
A round was stopped by ballistic glass behind the historic exterior glass. One additional round has been found on the exterior of the White House. This damage has not been conclusively connected to Friday's incident, and an assessment of the exterior of the White House is ongoing," a Secret Service statement said.
Last Friday night at about 9 p.m., U.S. Park Police and the Secret Service investigated after hearing shots fired about 700 to 800 yards from the White House, the Secret Service statement said.
Within five minutes, officers located a vehicle in the 2300 block of Constitution Avenue. "Evidence in the vehicle led to U.S. Park Police obtaining an arrest warrant for Oscar Ortega-Hernandez," described as a 21-year-old Hispanic male, 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds.
A weapon registered to Ortega-Hernandez was found in the car, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation.
The Secret Service interviewed people who know Ortega-Hernandez, and determined he had a "direction of interest toward the president and the White House" -- a term that does not suggest a direct specific threat.
The FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Metropolitan Police Department all took part in the search for Ortega-Hernandez, officials said.
"There's always an outer perimeter and this was on the very outer perimeter of our security," the Secret Service official said. "The gun and car were found within several minutes. We have a lot of security -- a lot of layered security down there and the security worked."
The law enforcement official familiar with the investigation said when shots were heard Friday night, there were reports of tires screeching and cars racing.