Washington authorities search for White House gunman
WASHINGTON -- Police in Washington D.C. are trying to track down a 21-year-old Idaho man who they believe fired a bullet that struck a window at the White House last week.
The Secret Service announced it found a bullet in a White House window. Officials think they know who fired the shot,.and they are now trying to hunt him down.
While President Obama visits Australia, there's growing concern back home about a threat to his safety. Authorities say Oscar Ortega-Hernandez, of Idaho is mentally ill and may have deadly intentions.
In a statement released Tuesday night, the Secret Service revealed that a bullet fired last Friday on the Washington Mall, less than a thousand yards from The White House, may have hit the president's home.
After the incident, authorities found a car containing an assault style rifle and empty shell casings. The suspect had fled. But police linked the car to Ortega-Hernandez.
"This is a man who discharged a rifle in Downtown D.C., I think that speaks volumes. We're going to need to speak with him to find out just what he was thinking," said U.S. Park Police spokesman Sgt. David Schlosser,
Ortega-Hernandez has an extensive criminal record, ranging from domestic violence to drug charges. ABC News has learned evidence from family and associates suggests Ortega-Hernandez is fixated with the White House. Authorities suspect he has been visiting the Washington Mall for weeks and they are fearful of what he may try to do.
Before the shooting, he was detained by local police at an abandoned house.
"They handcuffed him, they had him on the grass, and I guess they let him go," said Arlington Virginia resident Cindi Shore.
Officials are taking no chances trying to hunt down Oscar Ortega-Hernandez, even though it's unclear whether or not he's capable of launching a sophisticated attack.
washington d.c., national/world
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