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U.S.: Idaho Man Arrested for Shooting at the White House

Police have arrested a 21-year-old on suspicion of firing a semi-automatic rifle at the White House last week. Suspect may be mentally ill.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 11/17/2011, 6:14 AM

A 21-year-old Idaho man has been arrested on suspicion of firing a semi-automatic rifle at the White House, authorities said on Wednesday.

According to a statement by Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Edwin Donovan, the suspect is Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez. He was detained at a hotel near Indiana, Pennsylvania.

The arrest comes after the Secret Service said on Tuesday that it suspected that a bullet fired in a shooting incident Friday may have hit the White House, after a round was found in a window.

The round was stopped by ballistic glass behind the historic exterior glass, ABC News reported, while an additional round was found on the exterior of the White House. It was believed the shooting may have been a threat to President Barack Obama, who was not present at the White House at the time of the incident.

Authorities later found a car in the area. While the suspect had fled, police discovered an assault-style rifle and empty shell casings inside the vehicle. They quickly linked the car to Ortega-Hernandez and started searching for him.

According to ABC News, police believe Ortega-Hernandez is mentally ill. He has an extensive record, ranging from domestic violence to drug charges. It is suspected that he had been in the area for weeks, coming back and forth to the Washington Mall. Before the shooting, he was detained by local police at an abandoned house and may have also spent time with Occupy D.C. protesters.