(By Al Jazeera)

  • A shooting took place outside the White House on Monday
  • Witnesses say they heard two shots
  • A 51-year-old male was hospitalised
  • According to the US Secret Service, the White House Complex was not breached

US President Donald Trump abruptly left an on-camera briefing at the White House on Monday then returned a few moments later saying a “shooting” outside the grounds was now “under control”…

Trump said the shooting was near the edge of the White House grounds, and that he understands the suspect was armed and had been taken to the hospital.

The president had been speaking to reporters in the James S Brady press briefing room at the White House, when a Secret Service agent came and escorted him to the Oval Office.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought were also taken out of the room, and the doors were locked.

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Trump returned to the briefing room soon after and said the Secret Service would offer more details later.

“It was a shooting outside of the White House,” Trump said. “It seems to be very well under control … But there was an actual shooting, and somebody has been taken to the hospital. I don’t know the condition of the person.”

Trump said he does not believe the suspect got past the perimeter of the White House.

“I don’t think anything was breached,” Trump told reporters.

Statement from the Secret Service

The US Secret Service tweeted the following statement shortly after the incident:

“At approximately 5:53 PM today, a 51 year old male approached a U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division officer who was standing at his post on the corner of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. near the White House Complex.”

“The suspect approached the officer and told the officer he had a weapon. The suspect then turned around, ran aggressively towards the officer, and in a drawing motion, withdrew an object from his clothing. He then crouched into a shooter’s stance as if about to fire a weapon.”

“The Secret Service officer discharged his weapon striking the individual in the torso. Officers immediately rendered first aid to the suspect and D.C. Fire and EMS were called to the scene. Both the suspect and the officer were transported to local hospitals.”

“The White House Complex was not breached during the incident and no Secret Service protectees were ever in danger.”

“The Secret Service Office of Professional Responsibility will be conducting an internal review of the officer’s actions. The Metropolitan Police Department was contacted to conduct an investigation.”