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From selfies to chaos: A tourist view of the White House lockdown

Friday, May 20, 2016 - 01:16

Witnesses describe a chaotic scene after a shot is heard near the White House. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). STORY: Tourists described a chaotic scene after officials say a U.S. Secret Service agent shot a man who brandished a gun near the White House on Friday. The Secret Service, which protects the president and his family, briefly locked down the White House as a precaution, and Vice President Joe Biden was secured within the White House complex during the lockdown, a White House spokeswoman said. The shooting took place just off 17th and E streets, near what is known as the South Lawn outside the home and offices of the president. A man carrying a gun approached a checkpoint shortly after 3 p.m. (1900 GMT) when uniformed Secret Service officers ordered him to stop and drop the weapon, the Secret Service said in a statement. Akil Patterson was in the security line entering the White House when he heard a shot. "As we were standing there, the officer came out of the side door and you could hear his radio going shots fired shots fired suspect down suspect down," he said. Steve Snider from Seattle said, "I was just standing outside the White House in front of the gate, getting ready to take pictures and selfies, and the secret service just came out and started screaming at everybody, move out, back away from the White House, just mass chaos." Mark Balke, from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, said his son heard the shot as they happened upon the scene. "We had just come off from in front of the White House and turned the corner of 17th there, and all of a sudden, as soon as we turned the corner, policemen and a Secret Service guy started down the road here, you know, on the bikes first, yelling, 'Get out of the way everybody, get out of the way'. And then Secret Service police cars, and then a black SUV, started rolling down a road right there," Balke said. The man was taken to hospital in critical condition, the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department said. The shooting followed several incidents that raised questions about the Secret Service's performance.

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From selfies to chaos: A tourist view of the White House lockdown

Friday, May 20, 2016 - 01:16