Local
8:27 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

White House Shooting Suspect Charged with Attempted Assassination

The 21-year-old man accused of firing a semi-automatic rifle at the White House has been formally charged with attempting to assassinate President Obama or members of his staff.

Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, appeared in federal court in Pittsburgh on Thursday, one day after being arrested at a hotel in Indiana, PA. He waived an identity hearing, and requested that a preliminary and detention hearing be held in Washington, D.C. Federal officials said that he will now face charges there.

Ortega-Hernandez will remain in federal custody until a magistrate in Washington determines if he should remain jailed or be granted bail pending his trial on the charge. If convicted, he could get up to life in prison.

The only words spoken by the suspect were, "Yes, ma'am," in response to the judge asking if he understood that he would be going back to Washington to face the charges against him.

The president and first lady were in California at the time of the shooting incident.