A Secret Service agent shot and critically wounded a man who pulled out a gun near the White House on Friday while President Barack Obama was out golfing, US officials said.
The White House went on lockdown after the incident, which took place just off 17th and E Streets, close to what is known as the South Lawn outside the home and office of the president.
At around 3pm, a man toting a gun walked up to a checkpoint near the White House and ignored uniformed Secret Service officers' orders to drop the weapon. "When the subject failed to comply with the verbal commands, he was shot once by a Secret Service agent and taken into custody," the Secret Service said in a statement. The bullet struck the man in the chest, and he was later transported to hospital in critical condition, according to the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services.
Authorities are still trying to figure out the gunman's motive, but they don't suspect he is linked with organized terror groups.
"At this time, based on a preliminary investigation, there is no known nexus to terrorism," security agencies said in a joint statement.
The man, who appeared to be in his mid-20s, walked to a gate of the White House holding a silver-colored gun pointed at the ground, said Brett Polivka, a 26-year-old visitor from Texas who was near the south side of the White House.
"A couple officers drew their guns, went right at him and within two or three seconds we heard a gunshot," Polivka told Reuters.
'A couple officers drew their guns, went right at him and within two or three seconds we heard a gunshot.'
The Secret Service, which also guards other top dignitaries, said all those under its protection were safe — including Vice President Joe Biden — but it did not say if Obama's family was home at the time.
"Everyone in the White House is safe and accounted for," a White House official said.
Community activist Akil Patterson told the Associated Press that he was waiting in line at a security checkpoint when a guard shouted drop to the ground. Patterson was at the White House to receive a presidential award recognizing his work with Baltimore teens. Patterson said his work seeks to "get rid of the notion that gun violence is the answer."
The incident came amid calls by lawmakers for an improved security system at the White House, which would involve hiring more staff and putting them through more rigorous training.
In September 2014, a knife-carrying man jumped a fence and ran into the White House itself in one of the worst security breaches during Obama's tenure.
That episode led to the resignation of the Secret Service's director.
In March 2015, two Secret Service agents capped off a night of drinking by driving into a White House barricade inches away from a suspicious package that investigators were examining.
In 2011, a man hit the White House with automatic rifle fire, but damage to the building was not discovered for several days.
Follow VICE News on Twitter: @