Man shot near White House after brandishing gun

Shooting reported across White House

WASHINGTON, May 20 (Reuters) - Law enforcement officers shot a man who brandished a gun near the White House on Friday while President Barack Obama was out golfing, and the man was taken to hospital in critical condition, officials and witnesses said.

The Secret Service, which protects the president, briefly locked down the White House as a precaution.

The shooting took place near 17th and E streets, near what is known as the South Lawn outside the executive mansion, which serves as the home and offices of the president.

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Man shot near White House after brandishing gun
Police secure a location after a shooting near the White House in Washington DC, U.S. May 20, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Police secure a location after a shooting near the White House in Washington DC, U.S. May 20, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
People exit the White House grounds after a shooting incident in Washington DC, U.S. May 20, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Secret Service agents stand guard after a shooting incident near the White House in Washington DC, U.S. May 20, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
A uniformed Secret Service agent holds a shotgun after a shooting incident near the White House in Washington DC, U.S. May 20, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
A uniformed Secret Service agent stands guard after a shooting incident near the White House in Washington DC, U.S. May 20, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Police officers walk past the location of a shooting near a White House gate in Washington, DC, U.S. May 20, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 20: Members of the Secret Services return to the White House after U.S. President Barack Obama went golfing at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on May 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. An armed man was shot by a Secret Service while Obama was golfing at Andrews. (Photo by Aude Guerrucci - Pool/Getty Images))
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 20: A member of the U.S. Secret Service Uniform Division uses binoculars to observe the surrounding area from the roof of the White House May 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. A Secret Service agent shot an armed man near the White House and placed the building on a brief lockdown while President Obama was out golfing in Maryland. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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A man who looked to be in his mid-20s walked to the gate of the White House holding a silver-colored gun pointed at the ground, said Brett Polivka, a 26-year-old visiting from Texas who was standing near the south side of the White House with his girlfriend.

"A couple officers drew their guns, went right at him and within two or three seconds we heard a gunshot," Polivka said, adding that he believed it was an officer's shot. They were then cleared from the scene, Polivka said.

The Secret Service confirmed a police involved shooting near the White House complex, reporting on Twitter that all the people under its protection were safe. The Secret Service also protects the president's family and other top dignitaries.

One person in critical condition was transported to hospital, said Oscar Mendez, a spokesman for the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.

Lafayette Square, a park and near the White House, was closed to tourists. U.S. Park Police and a Secret Service officer with a police dog kept tourists on the sidewalk north of the park.

(Reporting by Megan Cassalla and Eric Walsh in Washington; additional reporting by Joseph Ax and Gina Cherelus in New York and Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Writing by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Tom Brown)

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