A knife wielding intruder who jumped a fence and made it inside the White Houseon Sept. 19 reportedly made it much further inside the building than the Secret Service initially claimed.
According to a story published in the Washington Post on Monday, Omar Gonzalez, who was arrested after breaking into the White House, ran through much of the building’s East Room and up to the door of the Green Room. Gonzalez’s reported path took him past a staircase that led up to the president bedroom.
After Gonzalez’s arrest, Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan said he was taken into custody just inside the door near the buildings North Portico after jumping over a fence and running across the building’s lawn. However, the Washington Post said its account of Gonzalez’s dash through the building was based on “three people familiar with the incident.”
Donovan said he could not comment on the story to Business Insider because of the “ongoing investigation.”
The Washington Post quoted an unnamed “Secret Service official” who attributed Gonzalez’s ability to penetrate so much of the building to “an alarm box near the front entrance of the White House designed to alert guards to an intruder” that “had been muted at what officers believed was a request of the usher’s office.” Because of the muted alarm box, the newspaper said an agent posted at the front door was “delayed” in learning Gonzalez had jumped over the fence and did not lock the door leading to the residence.
These revelations come on the heels of another Washington Post report detailing a major security lapse at the White House. On Sunday, the newspaper published a story that alleged the Secret Service “bungled” its response after a gunman shot at the building in 2011. According to that report, agents were initially unaware the White House had been hit with bullets for four days after that incident.
This post was updated with a revised version of the map at 5:37 p.m.
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