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Bullet hits White House, stopped by safety glass

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 | 11:09 a.m. CST; updated 11:32 a.m. CST, Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WASHINGTON — A bullet hit an exterior window of the White House but was stopped by ballistic glass, and the Secret Service was investigating Wednesday whether the incident is connected to shots fired nearby last week.

Another bullet was found on the White House exterior. Both bullets were found Tuesday morning.

A spokesman for the Secret Service, Edwin Donovan, declined to answer additional questions about the incident, including the caliber of the recovered bullets or what room of the White House was behind the window that was hit, citing an ongoing criminal investigation.

The discovery follows reports of gunfire near the White House on Friday night. Witnesses heard shots and saw two speeding vehicles in the area. An assault rifle was also recovered.

President Barack Obama, who was headed to a summit in Hawaii, was not at the White House at the time of the shooting.

The Secret Service said it has not conclusively connected Friday's incident with the bullets found at the White House. Previously, authorities had said the White House did not appear to have been targeted Friday night.

U.S. Park Police have an arrest warrant for Oscar Ramiro Ortega, who is believed to be connected to the earlier incident.

Donovan, the Secret Service spokesman, identified the suspect as Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, saying that is the name on his driver's license.

Ortega is believed to be living in the Washington area with ties to Idaho.

After the gunfire was reported, police said they found an abandoned car Friday night near the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge that crosses the Potomac River to Virginia.

U.S. Park Police spokesman Sgt. David Schlosser said items found in the vehicle led investigators to Ortega. The suspect hasn't been linked to any radical organizations but does have an arrest record in three states, Schlosser said Monday.

Arlington Police Lt. Joe Kantor said Ortega was stopped Friday morning in north Arlington after a citizen called in a report of somebody "circling the area."

When police stopped Ortega, he was on foot and had an out of state address, Kantor said. Police took photos of him but had no cause to detain him, Kantor said.


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