Firecrackers being set off at the White House property caused the President’s residence to go into lockdown mode, reports the AFP via Yahoo! News on Sept. 16. We’re nowhere near the 4th of July, but even if we were, tossing firecrackers over the fence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will garner some immediate attention from D.C.’s Capitol police and the Secret Service.
Witnesses say the firecrackers, set off Monday evening, sounded like gunshots. Within minutes, uniformed Secret Service officers responded to the possible gunshot report, tackling a man outside of the fence at the White House.
The White House residence and grounds were put under a lockdown mode, but were reopened approximately an hour later after the possible gunshot threat was debunked as a firecracker prank.
The incident comes only hours after the deadly gun massacre a few miles away at the Washington Navy Yard claimed 12 lives. Although the firecracker incident was quickly discounted as being another shooting, heavily armed security teams at the White House converged immediately on the man.
Police identified the suspect as Alexander Sahaghan; charges against the man are pending. Secret Service spokesman George Ogilvie said the 52-year-old Sahagian is being held in police custody and questioned. No motive was provided as to the man's actions.