Donald Trump was abruptly escorted by a US Secret Service agent out of the White House briefing room as he was beginning a coronavirus update, then returned minutes later, saying there had been a “shooting” outside that was “under control”.

“There was an actual shooting and somebody’s been taken to the hospital,” the president said.

He added that the shots were fired by law enforcement officers and he believed the person who was shot was armed. “It was the suspect who was shot,” he said.

Mr Trump said he was escorted to the Oval Office by the agent. The White House was placed on lockdown following the incident.

The shooting took place near 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, blocks from the White House, according to two sources. Law enforcement officials are still trying to determine the suspect’s motive.

The suspect was taken to a local hospital, but their condition was not immediately known.

Mr Trump praised the work of Secret Service personnel for their work in keeping him safe. Asked if he was shaken by the incident, he asked reporters: “I don’t know. Do I seem rattled?”

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