Man dies after shooting himself outside White House

A gunman has killed himself outside the White House, the US Secret Service has confirmed.

The building was put on lockdown as officers responded to reports « of a person who allegedly suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound along the north fence line ».

In a statement, the US Secret Service said: « (He) removed a concealed handgun and fired several rounds, none of which appear at this time to have been directed towards the White House.

« The President and First Lady were not in the White House at the time of the incident. »

The incident happened about 12pm local time (5pm UK time) and the surrounding area was cordoned off.

No other injuries have been reported and the gunman has been identified by investigators. However, his name is not being made public until his next of kin have been informed.

Donald Trump was at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida at the time of the incident and was due to return to Washington DC later on Saturday.

Reporters inside the White House tweeted that they had been told to take shelter.

Secret Service officers said pedestrian and vehicular traffic was affected in the aftermath of the shooting.

The White House Press Secretary said: « We are aware of the situation, the President has been briefed. »

Such disturbances outside the White House are not uncommon.

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