Authorities Apprehend Suspected White House Sniper
They got him! Police have just arrested 21-year-old Oscar Ortega, who was the subject of a nationwide manhunt because he may pose a direct threat to President Obama.
Ortega was taken into custody at a hotel in Pennsylvania.
The Secret Service says it found two bullets believed to be fired by Ortega that actually struck the White House. One even shattered a window.
Ortega allegedly opened fire Friday night with an assault rifle at a remarkable distance of 800 yards, the equivalent of eight football fields.
Authorities say he actually positioned himself on the National Mall, between the White House and the Washington Monument. It's a site visited by millions of tourists every year.
President Obama wasn't home at the White House, he and the First Lady were in Hawaii and they're now on a state visit to Australia.
The shots originated from the south side of the White House, from the National Mall. The fact that someone was able to fire shots and hit the White House twice from that vantage point has the Secret Service carefully reviewing their security protocol.
Authorities say Ortega's car was found abandoned a few blocks away along with the rifle in the back seat.
Gun expert Rich Wyatt, host of Discovery's American Guns, showed INSIDE EDITION the kind of assault rifle the alleged sniper used.
"This weapon was made to be a one- or two-hundred-yard, three-hundred-yard gun. Not for a seven-hundred-fifty- or eight-hundred-yard shot at all. It was never built for that type of accuracy. He just got lucky and made a hit," Wyatt said.
Police believe the suspected White House sniper is mentally ill and a drifter. He's got an extensive arrest record for domestic violence, drug offenses, and assault.
The shooting comes as the latest episode of the Showtime series Homeland had a presidential assassin renting an apartment with a line of sight to the White House.
Police released a photo taken of Ortega just before the White House shooting, when he was detained by cops at a suburban Washington house. He was let go because he hadn't done anything.
Acting on a tip, authorities searched the Occupy D.C. camp just blocks from the White House after a man matching Ortega's description was seen there.
The real-life drama brings to mind the classic Clint Eastwood movie In the Line of Fire, in which a madman intent on assassinating the president was chased through the streets of Washington.
It also recalls the terrifying episode in 1994 when a crazed man pulled out an assault rifle and sprayed the White House with a hail of bullets. Luckily, he was disarmed by bystanders.