Today federal agents arrested Oscar Ortega-Hernandez, the man allegedly responsible for shooting at the White House last Friday, and authorities believe he could pose a threat to the President.
The suspect was apprehended at a hotel in Pennsylvania around noon. The Pennsylvania State police managed to seize the alleged gunman by utilizing a tip they had received from the Secret Service.
The police then issued a statement confirming: “Ortega-Hernandez is currently in the custody of the Pennsylvania State Police,” according to ABC News.
When the shots rang out at the White House mall Friday, Secret Service officers gave pursuit, but found the suspect’s car abandoned, along with an AK-47 and empty shell casings.
It is still not fully clear as to the nature of the shooting. If Ortega-Hernandez was attempting to assassinate the President, his efforts were futile; President Obama has been out of town for the past week.
Discovering exactly what the detainee was thinking might be more complicated than previously thought, however.
Ortega-Hernandez has a checkered personal past, littered with evidence of mental problems and criminal activity. He has records in Idaho, Texas, and Utah for crimes ranging from illicit drug use to assaulting a police officer, according to Sgt. David Schlosser of the Park Police.
There is some evidence that the gunman could have premeditated his crime, though.
There were reports indicating that Ortega-Hernandez spent some time in the Washington, D.C. Occupy movement, perhaps in an effort to blend in before firing on the White House.
Authorities took no chances on finding the suspect there.
Ralph Wittenberg, an Occupy DC protester, said officers came to the camp “searching for a so-called terrorist who shot at the White House, with no warrant, they went into everybody’s tents,” according to Talking Points Memo.
Despite their unorthodox methods, they did manage to arrest the 21-year-old Idahoan before he did something that could have hurt someone.
In response to the incident, Secret Service officials are thinking of increasing security.
Although a review of safety measures for the White House was in progress Friday, the Secret Service stated they will “scrutinize how [to] make it better,” said ABC News.