Bullet hits White House: Is this common?

There's no elevated threat against the president, and a bullet that hit a White House window was stopped by ballistic glass. But evidence of gunfire at or near the White House is rare, and authorities are investigating.

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    The White House in Washington is seen in this 2008 file photo. The Secret Service confirmed Tuesday a bullet hit an exterior window of the White House and was stopped by ballistic glass. An additional round of ammunition was also found on the exterior of the White House.
    Ron Edmonds/AP
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A bullet has damaged an exterior White House window, the Secret Service is reporting.

The bullet was stopped by ballistic glass, and an additional round was discovered on the exterior of the White House. The evidence of gunfire at the White House was discovered Tuesday morning, and comes in the wake of gunshots fired near the White House last Friday. Authorities are investigating whether the damage and Friday's gunshots are related.

"A round was stopped by ballistic glass behind the historic exterior glass,” the Secret Service said in a statement dated Nov. 15. “One additional round has been found on the exterior of the White House. This damage has not been conclusively connected to Friday's incident, and an assessment of the exterior of the White House is ongoing."

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Reports of gunfire at or in close proximity to the White House are not common, and the intent of the shots was not immediately clear. An investigation needs to be completed before that can be determined, though there is no general elevated threat against the president, said Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan. President Obama left the White House last Friday afternoon on a trip to Hawaii, Australia, and Indonesia, and remains out of the country. 

The incident last Friday evening involved gunfire about 700 to 800 yards from the White House, between the Ellipse and the Washington Monument, according to the Secret Service statement. Within five minutes, authorities found an abandoned car several blocks away containing an assault rifle. Evidence in the car led the US Park Police to obtain an arrest warrant for 21-year-old Oscar Ortega-Hernandez, and the Secret Service has opened an investigation into the suspect, the Secret Service reports.

In all, five agencies are working to locate the suspect and process evidence: Secret Service, Park Police, FBI, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, and the Metropolitan Police Department. 

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