White House shooting suspect charged

2011-11-18 10:01
Washington - A 21-year-old Idaho man who allegedly called US President Barack Obama the "devil" and the "anti-Christ" was charged on Thursday with attempting to assassinate him by firing shots at the White House.

Oscar Ortega-Hernandez was arrested by Pennsylvania state police on Wednesday following last week's shooting incident at the presidential mansion in Washington, one of the world's most closely guarded buildings.

Obama and his wife Michelle were in California at the time of the incident, and no one was injured.

Ortega-Hernandez was charged in US federal court in Pittsburgh, where a judge ordered that he remain in police custody, the official said. He could face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.

He was arrested at a hotel near Indiana, Pennsylvania, after gunshots were heard late on Friday near the White House, about 600 to 700 metres away on Constitution Avenue, Secret Service special agent Edwin Donovan said.

Within five minutes of the shooting, authorities located an abandoned vehicle on Constitution Avenue, which runs along the northern border of the Washington Mall. That car was found to be registered to Ortega-Hernandez.

Traffic not restricted


According to the criminal complaint, investigators recovered a semi-automatic assault rifle "with a large scope mounted on the top portion of the weapon" along with ammunition and nine spent shell casings.

From Constitution Avenue, a shooter would have a clear line of sight to the White House, across the Ellipse and the South Lawn of the presidential mansion where Obama, his wife, their two daughters and the first lady's mother live.

Traffic is not restricted on Constitution Avenue and members of the public can approach the wrought iron fence at the bottom of the South Lawn on foot.

Two witnesses who know Ortega-Hernandez well said he had described Obama as the "devil" and the "anti-Christ," according to the criminal complaint.

One of the witnesses told federal investigators that Ortega-Hernandez was "preparing for something". The suspect had said Obama "needed to be taken care of" and pledged he would "not stop until it's done", the witness added.

The other said Ortega-Hernandez was "convinced that the federal government is conspiring against him". The witness also confirmed the suspect owned a gun and had left Idaho in the vehicle later found by police.

The suspect was due to be transferred "within a few days" to Washington, federal prosecutors said.

Several bullets and fragments

The White House refused to comment on the case.

The complaint filed against Ortega-Hernandez said FBI investigators had found "several confirmed bullet impact points on the south side of the building on or above the second story".

"Several bullets and fragments were also collected in that area," it said, adding that one of the bullet matched the ammunition found in the abandoned car.

The White House's southern facade has three levels. On the ground floor are offices, the Map Room and rooms where the White House china is on display.

On the main floor, several rooms have south facing windows, including the East Room, where presidential press conferences are held; the Blue, Red and Green Rooms, named after their dominant color schemes; and the State Dining Room.

On the top floor are the private living quarters of the president and his family. The residence's main bedroom, a dining room, a reception room and the Lincoln bedroom all have windows facing south.

- SAPA
Read more on:    michelle obama  |  barack obama  |  us  |  security
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Hottie of the day: Nicole Meyer!

Nicole is the cover girl for the 2014 edition of SA Swimsuit! Check out some smoking hot pics of here here.

 
 

Men24.com

11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!
This is how the Top Gear presenters spend their £55 million!
Thirty and still single? There’s hope!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The Moon has moved into your sign, emphasizing the need to connect things to work together. There is a tendency to focus too far...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.