The man shot and injured by a Secret Service officer outside the White House on Monday evening was unarmed, according to law enforcement sources.
Myron Berryman, 51, remains in a critical but stable condition in a Washington, D.C. hospital after he was shot in the chest when he allegedly 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.
Despite the alleged threats, no weapon was retrieved from the scene, sources told The Washington Post. .
At the time, President Trump was inside the White House Briefing Room conducting a press conference which was being televised nationwide.
A Secret Service agent informed the Commander-in-chief of the shooting, and Trump left the room as a security precaution. He returned five minutes later.
In a statement released Monday night, 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 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 on Tuesday, 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.
The White House complex was not breached during Monday evening’s incident, and no Secret Service officers were injured.
President Trump later returned to the Briefing Room where addressed the shooting.
‘There was a shooting outside of the White House and it seems to be very well under control.’
‘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.
The president said he was surprised by what happened but was not concerned for his personal safety.
‘I was surprised,’ he said. ‘It’s pretty unusual but very, very professional people. They do a fantastic job, as you know.’
‘The world has been a dangerous place. Very dangerous place and it will continue, I guess, for a period of time. I feel very safe with Secret Service, they are fantastic people. They are the best of the best and they are highly trained,’ he added.
Secret Service agents screen all reporters and visitors before they enter the White House complex.
Additionally, agents lock down the briefing room before the president enters with agents standing at all its entry points.
He said he never considered canceling his press briefing.
‘I didn’t even consider not coming back,’ Trump said. ‘I asked if I was able to come back, they said to wait a little while.’