A Firecracker was set off by a man outside the North Lawn of the White House yesterday. The man, Alexander Sahagian, aged 52, was taken into custody by authorities but has not yet been charged.
The incident occurred at around 6:30 am, not more than a few miles away from the Navy Yard shooting which took place at about the same time.
Due to the Navy Yard incident, authorities closed off a number of Streets as a precaution, including two blocks on 17th Street NW and one block on Pennsylvania Avenue, near to the White House.
The Secret Service confirmed to AFP that the man lit the firecracker and threw it over the perimeter fence of the White House. Even though the White House firecracker incident incurred a massive police response, earlier reports that shots had been fired were discounted.
Eyewitnesses told reporters that Secret Service agents rapidly tackled the man, as staff were asked to move further back into the building itself and out of harm’s way.
After the incident Lafayette Park, opposite the White House – which is usually bustling with people at this time of year – was closed by authorities as a precaution.
It’s not clear yet what the motive of the White House firecracker thrower was and if the incident was related to the Navy Yard shooting. It also remains to be seen if the accused man will be charged and if he is, what he will be charged with.