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Man was holding COMB when shot by Secret Service outside White House after ‘taking shooter stance’

The 51-year-old man who was shot on August 10 near the White House after he allegedly told a Secret Service officer he was armed and then crouched down into a shooting stance was found to be holding a comb, it has been reported.

Myron Berryman, who has been in a hospital since the shooting, has been charged with one count of assault on a police officer, according to court documents obtained by The Washington Post.

The White House complex was not breached during the incident, and no Secret Service officers were injured. 

Berryman’s first hearing on the charge, which is a misdemeanor, was held on Thursday in D.C. Superior Court.

Berryman’s attorney told the Post that the suspect has been transferred to a psychiatric hospital. The lawyer, Daniel K. Dorsey, denied that his client threatened to kill anyone.

According to court documents and the Secret Service, Berryman walked up to a uniformed officer near the White House complex and said he was armed.

He is then alleged to have reached toward the right side of his body – motioning as if to retrieve some kind of object.

Berryman is then alleged to have clasped his hands together and pointed his arms toward the officer as if to indicate that he was about to shoot a weapon.

The Secret Service officer fired a shot that hit Berryman in the torso.

A search of Berryman yielded no weapons.

Court documents indicated that the black object that fell from Berryman’s hands when he was shot was a comb.

Initially, law enforcement sources claimed Berryman charged towards an officer outside the president’s residence claiming to have a gun. 

The Secret Service say Berryman yelled ‘I’m going to kill you. I’m going to shoot you’ at agents before he was shot. 

At the time of the shooting, President Trump was inside the White House Briefing Room conducting a press conference which was being televised nationwide. 

A Secret Service agent informed the president of the shooting, and Trump left the room as a security precaution. He returned five minutes later. 

The situation made for a dramatic start to Trump’s press briefing on August 10. 

Trump had barely begun his press briefing when a Secret Service agent stepped into the press briefing room and said ‘sir’.

‘Excuse me,’ Trump said, looking up from the text of his speech at the interruption.  

‘There’s been a shooting outside,’ the agent told him, whispering in his ear. ‘Sir you’re going to have to step out.’ His words were caught on the microphone at the podium.

‘Oh,’ Trump said and left the room with him. 

A lockdown for the White House was declared, which is standard procedure during a security breach. 

A few minutes after his exit, the president returned to the podium and said: ‘There was a shooting outside of the White House and it seems to be very well under control.’

He then proceeded to take questions from reporters on a variety of topics for nearly an hour and eventually said he was fine after being pulled from the room.

‘Do I seem rattled?,’ he asked at one point before thanking his security detail for their quick action. 

‘I’d like to thank the Secret Service for doing their always quick and very effective work,’ he noted.

In a statement, the Secret Service stated: ‘The suspect … ran aggressively towards the officer, and in a drawing motion, withdrew an object from his clothing. He then crouched into a shooter’s stance as if about to fire a weapon.’ 

Berryman did not appear in court for his arraignment. Instead, he was moved to the District’s Psychiatric Institute of Washington.

Prosecutors have informed the court that they are not opposed to Berryman remaining under observation while his case proceeds.

The next court date is set for January.

According to court documents, when Berryman was interviewed at the hospital two days after the shooting, he did not remember the incident.

Berryman also told investigators he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and that he had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital before the shooting.

On the day of the shooting, he left a residential treatment facility, he told officers.

Berryman also told officers he stopped taking his medication that was prescribed to treat his mental illness three years ago.

He said he resumed taking the medication when he was hospitalized. 

Berryman is reported to be a licensed boxer who stands at 6ft 3in. 

He was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct back in 2012. 

Berryman’s sister gave an interview with The Washington Post, where she spoke on the condition of anonymity. 

She said she did not believe her brother would hurt anyone. 

‘They said he had a weapon? He ran toward him? This is crazy. He is a man of God. He would not have a weapon for sure. His weapon is the word of God,’ she stated.

Berryman’s sister believes he may have been encouraging protesters outside the White House, and his actions could have been misconstrued. 

‘Myron is always encouraging everybody. He has never had anything negative to say. He always encourages people,’ the sister said.   

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