An Idaho man was charged Thursday with attempting to assassinate President Barack Obama during an incident last week in which shots were fired at the White House.
The federal court complaint against Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, 21, was made public Thursday afternoon during a court hearing in Pittsburgh.
Ortega-Hernandez was arrested Wednesday at a hotel in western Pennsylvania after the Secret Service alerted hotel staff that he might visit the area. At the hearing Thursday, a federal magistrate ordered that Ortega-Hernandez be transferred to Washington to face the new charges.
Last Friday night, witnesses heard shots being fired several blocks south of the White House, near the ellipse. An abandoned vehicle with an AK-47 inside was later found near Memorial Bridge. Police have been on the lookout for Ortega-Hernandez since soon after the incident. On Sunday, they obtained a local court warrant charging him with carrying a dangerous weapon.
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama were traveling in California at the time of the shooting incident.
Police initially said they saw no connection between the shots fired and the White House or Obama, but the gravity of the incident became clearer on Tuesday when a bullet was discovered between the outer glass and the bulletproof layer of a window on the White House’s second floor, which is part of the first family’s residential quarters.
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