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Thursday 12 December 2019

White House intruder 'had ammo'

Secret Service police officers patrol outside the White House (AP)
Secret Service police officers patrol outside the White House (AP)

Investigators found more than 800 rounds of ammunition in the car of the man accused of scaling the White House fence and sprinting inside the building, a US prosecutor said today. A machete and two hatchets also were found.

In a federal court proceeding, Assistant US Attorney David Mudd declared that the accused intruder, Omar J Gonzalez, was a danger to the president. Gonzalez was arrested just inside the White House front door.

President Barack Obama and his family had left the White House for Camp David on Friday evening when the incident occurred. Mr Obama's spokesman said today that the president was "obviously concerned" about what happened.

Mr Mudd also disclosed that Gonzalez was already under indictment in Virginia, accused of having a sawn-off shotgun and eluding police in a case this summer.

Wythe County Deputy Commonwealth Attorney David Saliba said Gonzales had a map of Washington and Mr Mudd said in court that the White House was circled on the map.

Mr Saliba also said Gonzalez had the sawn-off shotgun, two powerful rifles, four handguns and other guns and ammunition in his Ford Bronco when troopers stopped him in south-western Virginia on July 19.

Mr Saliba said Gonzalez initially tried to flee troopers, weaving and driving off the road into the central reservation.

Gonzalez was arrested at the scene after a trooper found the illegal shotgun in his car. The ammunition and weapons, including a tomahawk hatchet, were seized.

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