Impressions on the Social Age

White House Stops Bullets

Posted in Local DC by Trace on November 16, 2011

Image: Associated Press

Two bullets were found outside the White House on Tuesday, having been fired by an unknown person. The Secret Service is investigating the source of the shooting as well as the shooter. Neither bullet is thought to have penetrated White House security do to the ballistic glass in place behind the historic glass on all White House windows.

One bullet was found after it had hit the ballistic glass, and another was found outside.

Gunshots were heard near the White House on November 11th. The Secret Service were quick to respond. Within five minutes of the shots, police had secured a vehicle on the 2300 block of Constitution Avenue, which runs along the National Mall near the White House. In the vehicle, police found an AK-47 assault rifle registered to Oscar Ramiro Ortega.

The evidence recovered at the scene led police to open an arrest warrant for Ortega, a 21 year-old white-hispanic male. Ortega is 5′ 11″ weighs 160 pounds, with a medium build, brown eyes and black hair and beard. He has a visible tattoo on his neck reading “Israel.”

Neither President Obama nor First Lady, Michelle Obama were at home when the gunshots were hear. That afternoon they were heading to San Diego, before heading to Hawaii for the Asia-Pacific economic forum.

According to a statement issued by the Secret Service, the sounds of gunfire likely originated from the Ellipse, a grassy area just south of the White House. If the shots were fired from the AK-47, and the Secret Service did not indicate this was the case, then they traveled 700-800 yards before hitting the White House. The AK-47’s effective range is only around 300 yards.

“There’s always an outer perimeter and this was on the very outer perimeter of our security,” the Secret Service official told CNN. “The gun and car were found within several minutes. We have a lot of security — a lot of layered security down there and the security worked.”

While the Secret Service does have a warrent for the arrest of Ortega, they are not saying the gunshots on Friday are conclusively tied to the two bullets found. But rather Ortega is a person of interest and the manhunt is currently underway. The Occupy Washington DC protest camp was searched in relation to the hunt when a few calls were placed possibly placing Ortega at the scene.

According to the US Park Police blog post, anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact local law enforcement or US Park Police at (202) 610-7500 for immediate assistance, or the Criminal Investigations Branch Tip Line at (202) 610-8737 for non emergent information.