An unidentified man was wounded along the north fence line of the White House on Saturday in what District of Columbia police said was being investigated as a self-inflicted shooting.
President Donald Trump was away in Florida. There were no other injuries in the incident, police said.
“We’re investigating reports that he shot himself,” but this had not been clearly established, said a police spokeswoman.
“Our natural death squad is on the scene,” police said.
Pedestrian and vehicle traffic around the White House was blocked off by police, which is routine in such incidents.
Reporters tweeting from the White House briefing room said they had been told to shelter in place. Police cars and ambulances swarmed to the area minutes after the incident.
Disturbances outside the White House are not rare.
On February 23, a woman was arrested after crashing her vehicle into a security barrier near the presidential residence.
And there have been repeated attempts to jump over fences around the building.