Man fatally shoots himself near White House, Secret Service says


A man reportedly shot himself along the north fence line of the White House March 3, according to the Secret Service, which also said he was being treated for the wound. (David Bruns,Patrick Martin/The Washington Post)

A man standing alone amid a crowd of more than 100 people fatally shot himself along the north fence line of the White House midday Saturday, according to witnesses.

Philipos Melaku-Bello, who was manning a nearby peace vigil, said the gunman was standing just inside the sidewalk on Pennsylvania Avenue, across from Lafayette Square. Melaku-Bello heard two shots fired in quick succession before he saw the man drop to the ground as people fled the area.

“Guns again!” someone shouted. “Guns again!”

One video posted on Twitter showed hundreds of people sprinting away as sirens blared in the background and emergency vehicles sped toward the scene.

“Do you think that was shots?” one woman asked, before she began to sob.

No one else was injured, according to the Secret Service. Metro police announced just after 2 p.m. that the man had died and that officers were working to notify his family.

President Trump was at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida at the time of the shooting but has been briefed on the incident.

Early Saturday afternoon, Secret Service agents searched and photographed a maroon Honda sedan on K Street, two blocks north of Lafayette Square. From the trunk, they removed a clear plastic crate, a large blue bag and what appeared to be a cooler, which investigators carefully examined. On the sidewalk were other items apparently taken from the car, including a pair of neon orange running shoes.

This is a developing story. Check back soon for more updates.

Stephanie McCrummen, Lynda Robinson, Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig contributed to this report.

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