White House on brief lockdown after ‘suspicious package’ found near its grounds, suspect in custody
The White House was briefly lockdown on Tuesday morning after a male suspect approached US Secret Service agents with a "suspicious package" and made suspicious comments, officials said.
The Secret Service, which is responsible for the security of President Donald Trump, put the White House is on lockdown as it investigated the suspicious package.
The man had approached uniformed officers at around 10:15 AM when both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were inside the White House.
"A male suspect approached uniform division officers in the area of 15th and Pennsylvania (Avenue). He made some suspicious comments. He also had package. We separated the individual and the package. He is now in Secret Service custody," a Secret Service spokesperson told reporters.
"Explosive disposal team are on the scene. We established a security perimeter, the media was moved in here (James S Brady press room) and East Wing tours were temporarily suspended. All other activities in White House continues as normal," the spokesperson said.
"Yes," the spokesperson said when asked if the suspect was taken into custody without incident.
The lockdown was lifted around 11.45 AM.
Earlier, the Secret Service said in a tweet that they were "investigating [a] suspicious package near White House grounds."
"Secret Service investigating suspicious package near White House grounds. Road closures in effect," a tweet from the official handle of the agency said.
"USSS is investigating suspicious package; security perimeter established & members of the public & media are being moved to safe a distance," it said in another tweet.
The north lawn had been evacuated and the south lawn was on "lock down" due to the package.
The US Secret Service "is investigating suspicious package; security perimeter established & members of the public and media are being moved to safe a distance," an official statement said.
President Donald Trump along with Vice President Mike Pence were inside the White House when the package was found.
The group of media, inside the press briefing room, were asked not to go outside the room.
Roads around the building had also been closed.
Meanwhile, the President and the Vice President continued with their daily activities inside the White House.
"You keep us safe," Trump said in a listening session with the Fraternal Order of Police.