The suspected gunman accused of firing shots near the White House last week has been charged with attempting to assassinate President Barack Obama or members of his staff.
Idaho-native Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, 21, was arrested yesterday at a Hampton Inn hotel in Indiana, Pa., for allegedly firing two shots at the White House, one of which hit an exterior window but was stopped by bulletproof glass. He made his first federal court appearance in Pittsburgh Thursday, but will be sent to Washington, D.C. to face the charges.
Police said the shots were fired last Friday night from a moving car by a driver about a half mile south of the White House. The car was found abandoned a few blocks away with the assault rifle used to fire the shots, which was then traced backed to Ortega-Hernandez.
Obama was in California the time the shots were fired.
Investigators told the staff at Hampton Inn that the gunman had stayed there earlier and to notify law enforcement and the secret service if he came back, which he soon did, and officers were able to make an arrest.
Ortega-Hernandez was homeless at the time and is known to have committed minor crimes in three different states. He was reported missing by his family on Oct. 31 and is believed to be mentally ill.
Various sources are reporting that Ortega-Hernandez expressed a deep dislike for the president and told friends that he was the "antichrist." It is also believed that he may have spent some time among the protesters of the Occupy D.C. movement.
His mother, Maria Hernandez, spoke out and said it is not possible that he acted alone.
"Oscar alone would not be able to do any of this," she told the Idaho Falls Post Register. "Maybe if he was guided by someone else or something on the Internet, but I really don't know."