Trump Press Briefing Interrupted by Secret Service After Gunshots Outside White House

President Donald Trump left the podium abruptly during a Monday news conference after shots were reportedly fired near the White House.

Trump was speaking to reporters when he was approached by a Secret Service agent who escorted the president away from the press conference. Those present said the White House had been placed on lockdown. After a few moments, Trump returned and told reporters that an individual was shot by the Secret Service and taken to a nearby hospital.

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Police cars block the entrance to Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House shortly after Secret Service guards shot a person who was apparently armed, outside the White House on Monday while U.S. President Donald Trump was speaking to the press. Eric Baradat / AFP/Getty

In a Monday tweet, the United States Secret Service verified the incident. "The Secret Service can confirm there has been an officer involved shooting at 17th Street and Pennsylvania Ave.," the Secret Service wrote. "Law enforcement officials are on the scene. More information to follow."

The Secret Service can confirm there has been an officer involved shooting at 17th Street and Pennsylvania Ave. Law enforcement officials are on the scene. More information to follow.

— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) August 10, 2020

"According to Trump, the shooting happened near the White House, but outside the perimeter of the security fence. "It was outside of the White House," Trump said. "Somebody was taken to the hospital. It was the suspect who was shot."

Trump told reporters he was not upset by the shooting incident. "Do I seem rattled?" Trump said. "But this is the world. The world has always been a dangerous place. Not something that is unique. You look back over the centuries and the world has been a dangerous place."

Trump said the Secret Service escorted him to the Oval Office and not the bunker. "They just wanted me to step aside just to make sure everything was cleared outside," Trump said.

Although Trump said he believed the suspect was armed, he could not confirm that he was in any serious danger. "It might not have had anything to do with me," Trump said.

Trump was outside of the press briefing for about eight minutes, as he returned to chat with reporters at 6 p.m. "I didn't even think about not coming back," Trump told reporters.

In a statement sent to Newsweek Monday by the U.S. Secret Service, an unnamed male approached a member of the Uniformed Division near the White House and claimed he had a weapon.

"The suspect turned around, ran aggressively towards the officer, and in a drawing motion, withdrew an object from his clothing," the statement read. When the man "crouched into a shooter's stance," the Secret Service officer shot the suspect in the torso. Both the officer and the suspect were taken to local hospitals.

"The White House Complex was not breached during the incident and no Secret Service protectees were ever in danger," the statement added.

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President Donald Trump speaks during a Monday news conference which was interrupted by reports of a shooting outside the White House. Alex Wong/Getty

Although the White House has had a fence around it since its construction, new security fencing has been installed to protect the structure from individuals demonstrating against the death of George Floyd. In June, President Trump was reportedly taken to the underground bunker as protesters drew near to the White House.

Trump later said news of his bunker visit was a "false report" and that he only visited the facility for an inspection.

"I went down," Trump told reporters. "I looked at it. It was during the day. It was not a problem. And I read about it like a big thing. There was never a problem. We never had a problem. Nobody ever came close to giving us a problem."

Updated 11:45 p.m. EST 08/10/2020: This story has been updated with a statement from the United States Secret Service.