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Suspect in weekend shooting near White House is still at large

By Carol Cratty, CNN
updated 5:59 PM EST, Mon November 14, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Witnesses -- including uniformed Secret Service officers -- heard shots fired Friday night
  • No one was injured, and police have not found any bullets near the scene
  • U.S. Park Police have an arrest warrant for 21-year-old Oscar Ramiro Ortega
  • Ortega remains at large

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Police are still looking for a suspect in Friday night's shooting near the White House and Washington Monument and say they haven't found any bullets in buildings, cars or trees to indicate what the shooter might have been aiming at. No one was injured.

The U.S. Park Police have an arrest warrant out for Oscar Ramiro Ortega on a felony charge of carrying a dangerous weapon, and they would like Ortega to come forward.

"We want to hear from Mr. Ortega," said Park Police Sgt. David Schlosser." We want to hear his version as to what happened. This will help us fill in the blanks as to what actually occurred on Friday evening and we'd like to resolve this soon."

Witnesses -- including uniformed Secret Service officers -- heard shots fired Friday night.

Schlosser said he didn't know if Ortega had a history of anti-government activity or rhetoric and also did not know if he is a U.S. citizen.

Police found a crashed car near Theodore Roosevelt Bridge and say Ortega had been driving it. Schlosser said investigators found a semi-automatic weapon and shell casings inside the vehicle. That bridge is west of the White House and Washington Monument and is a major route into Virginia.

"The actions that Mr. Ortega participated on Friday evening -- that being the discharge of a firearm near the White House -- is an inherently dangerous activity, and because of that we do want to find Mr. Ortega as quickly as possible," said Schlosser. "At this point we're not certain what his intentions were."

On the same day the shooting incident happened, Ortega was stopped by police in Virginia around 11 a.m. for some sort of suspicious activity, said Lt. Joe Kantor with Arlington County Police. Kantor did not provide details on what behavior Ortega allegedly had been engaged in.

Ortega was not arrested in that stop, but Arlington County police took photos of him including one showing one of his tattoos spelling out the word "Israel" on his neck. U.S. Park Police later used those pictures in their releases asking the public for any information on the shooting incident.

Ortega is described as a Hispanic male, 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing about 160 pounds.

According to the U.S. Park Police, the 21-year old Ortega has a history of criminal activity in three states that includes drug charges, underage possession of alcohol and assaults on law enforcement officers. Schlosser said the charges occurred in Idaho where Ortega was known to have lived, as well as in Texas and Utah.

Schlosser said law enforcement officials believe Ortega has been in the Washington area for several weeks.

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