A Secret Service officer shot a man carrying a firearm in a checkpoint nearby the White House on Friday. The man resisted to drop the gun out, after he received verbal commands. The official residence of the president was put under security alert as a preventive measure.

The event occurred at 3:06 p.m., said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in a press release issued Friday. The gunman reportedly came near the perimeter of a checkpoint “accessible to the general public”, located on E Street.

Law enforcement personnel stand south of the White House on Constitution Ave., in Washington. Image Credit: ABC News
Law enforcement personnel stand south of the White House on Constitution Ave., in Washington. Image Credit: ABC News

Secret Service Uniformed Division Officers verbally requested the man to stop and drop the gun. He ignored the officer’s commands and continued his way, said David Iacovetti, a Secret Service deputy assistant director, according to The Associated Press (AP).

“When the subject failed to comply with the verbal commands, he was shot once by a Secret Service agent and taken into custody. The Secret Service recovered a firearm at the scene. Secret Service Uniformed Division Officers and an agent provided medical aid to the subject.” said Iacovetti in a press release.

The man is being cared in a local hospital. President Barack Obama was not in the White House when the incident took place. Vice President Joe Biden was in the workplace, he was taken to a secure area for approximately one hour, said his office.

The 30-year-old-man was holding a .22 caliber weapon

The gunman has been identified as Jesse Oliveri of Ashland, Pennsylvania, according to an U.S. law enforcement official. Interestingly enough, the officer spoke on condition of anonymity, said AP. Federal agents have confiscated a Toyota sedan, which was supposedly driven by the Oliveri.

Agents found ammunition for a .22 caliber weapon inside the vehicle.  The sedan was parked on Constitution Avenue, said the Daily Mail. Sightseer Jenna Noelle of Austin, Texas, said to AP reporters that she was taking pictures around, when she suddenly saw the gunman.

Oliveri was shot once in the stomach, he is currently in critical condition. Law enforcement officials who spoke to NBC News reporters described the event as a possible ‘attempt suicide-by-cop’. He apparently said he wanted to die while, he was approaching the White House.

“We heard a shot fired, then some people started running away and agents had guns and were evacuating people. I had a panic attack. I’m doing OK now, but it was pretty freaky to be right there a second before it happened. Not really the experience we wanted,” she said.

This is not the first time the White House is a approached by an armed man

The FBI and the Washington D.C. Metropolitan police are already investigating the case. Oliveri’s home in Pennsylvania has been raided. The Secret Service said last year it was planning to add “temporary security enhancements” to areas in the White House, according to NBC News.

In June 2015, an Army Veteran scaled a fence at the White House while carrying a knife. Omar Gonzalez ignored the officer’s commands and ran to the East Room of the complex, before being detained, sand NBC News. He was sentenced to 17 months in prison.

Source: The Associated Press