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Alleged White House Shooter Charged With Attempted Assassination

Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez has been charged with attempting to assassinate the president for allegedly firing at least two shots at the White House last Friday evening.

The 21-year-old man from Idaho Falls, Idaho, as we reported earlier, was brought to a Pittsburgh court this afternoon for his first hearing on the charges against him. He was arrested Wednesday in Indiana, Pa., after an intense manhunt.

No one was hurt in the incident and neither President Obama nor first lady Michelle Obama were in the White House at the time. Witnesses heard shots and reported seeing a man fleeing the area in a vehicle. A car was found nearby and authorities say a weapon and other evidence was inside.

One of the bullets struck a window on the executive mansion's south side but did not penetrate the protective glass.

The fact that a president is not home at the time hasn't prevented at least one other person from being convicted of attempted assassination for firing a weapon at the White House. In 1994, Francisco M. Duran of Colorado man fired 29 shots from an assault rifle at the White House. President Clinton was not there. No one was injured. Convicted of attempting to kill the president, he remains in prison, with a projected release date of Sept. 3, 2029

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.