Last week, news surfaced of an unusual man who fired shots at the White House. The suspect in question, Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, a 21-year-old Idahoan resident, is currently awaiting trial. According to witnesses, a man clothed in all black fired shots at the White House from a vehicle that was parked nearby.
Police responded to reports of gunfire on Constitution Avenue and an investigation began on what was assumed to be an assassination attempt on President Obama’s life. A little while later, agents of the U.S. Park Police discovered an abandoned vehicle somewhere near a bridge leading out of the District of Columbia. The agents found inside an automatic weapon and the vehicle was then traced back to Ortega-Hernandez.
After offering authorities a four-day search, the suspect was captured at a hotel in Pennsylvania. Ortega-Hernandez was finally apprehended when a desk clerk who recognized a picture of him reported his presence to authorities.
The attack ultimately resulted in two bullets hitting the White House, one cracking the glass of a window in the residential ward and the other striking the outside wall. Though one bullet did make contact with a window, the glass was made of ballistic grade material which managed to stop it. The president and his wife were not in the White House at the time of the shooting.
Authorities who are investigating Ortega-Hernandez’s motives discovered that he was obsessed with President Obama and the White House. Speaking to his ex-fiance and her family, it was found that before the attack Ortega-Hernandez had made radical claims of being Jesus Christ. The suspect had also suggested that the world was going to end and that his attack on the White House was in fact a mission from God.
Though the mother of Ortega-Hernandez’s ex-fiance has claimed that Ortega-Hernandez was a very polite and normal person in the four years she had known him, the suspect’s sanity has come under question during the course of the investigation. Ortega-Hernandez has not been tied to any radical criminal organization, suggesting the attack was self-motivated.
Citing an accumulation of legal charges including domestic violence, drug use and resisting arrest, investigators have come the conclusion that Ortega-Hernandez may have habitual and violent tendencies. Ortega-Hernandez has shown signs of aggressive and addictive behaviors in the past which in addition to his outlandish belief in being the christian messiah has lead investigators to believe that he may be mentally ill.
Ortega-Hernandez is currently being held in Pittsburgh, where he will be moved to Washington to face further trial. He is charged with an assassination attempt on the president or the president’s staff’s life. If convicted he may be faced with penalties up to life in prison.
Joe Mandak, “White House Shooting: Ortega-Hernandez Was On A ‘Mission From God’ Authorities Say,” Huffington Post
Brett Zongker, “Details unfold in shots fired at White House,” Washington Times