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Accused White House Shooter to Appear in D.C. Court Today

Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Accused White House shooter Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez is scheduled to make an appearance today in federal court in Washington, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Ortega-Hernandez, 21, will appear before Magistrate Judge Alan Kay in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, according to an e-mailed statement from Bill Miller, spokesman for U.S. attorney Ronald Machen.

Ortega-Hernandez was charged with trying to kill President Barack Obama after he allegedly fired a semi-automatic rifle at the White House on Nov. 11.

He drove to Washington with an assault rifle and other weapons after telling people in his home state of Idaho that he “needed” to assassinate the president, according to documents filed in federal court in Washington last week. The attempted assassination charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Ortega-Hernandez appeared in federal court in Pittsburgh on Nov. 17 after his arrest the day before by Pennsylvania State Police at a hotel near Indiana, Pennsylvania.

A task force of federal and local law enforcement agencies had been searching for the gunman who fired shots from a street less than 800 yards from the White House just after 9 p.m. local time on Nov. 11. Obama had already departed for a nine-day trip to Hawaii and Asia at the time of the shooting.

To contact the reporters on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at tschoenberg@bloomberg.net; Seth Stern in Washington at sstern14@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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