A suspect has been taken into custody after Secret Service officers shot a man brandishing a weapon. Photo / iStock
The White House
has been put on lockdown after a person was shot outside.
Secret Service officers shot an armed man outside the west of the White House
after he brandished a weapon, a law enforcement source told CNN.
Visitors wrote on Twitter that they saw 'lots of people with guns' after shots were heard.
President Obama was not in the White House at the time as he was out playing a round of golf, while Vice President Joe Biden was rushed to a secure area of the building.
The shooting took place on 17th and E Streets - one block away from the White House - at around 2pm, the United States Park Police said.
DC Fire and EMS tweeted that one person was taken to hospital in a critical condition.
A suspect has been taken into custody, law enforcement officials told CNN.
President Obama reportedly left the White House shortly after 1pm for a round of golf at Andrews Air Force Base with three of his aides. He arrived there at about 1.30pm.
Vice President Joe Biden was taken to a secure area of the White House.
Secret Service officers were seen clearing the area and snipers were seen on the roof of the building.
Press at the White House were told to 'shelter in place'.
Police gather at the White House gates following the shooting. (AP photo)
An armed man was shot by security guards at a checkpoint on West Executive Drive in downtown Washington on Friday afternoon, according to police.
A fire department spokesman said the suspect was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition.
President Barack Obama was not at his office at the time. He was out golfing at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.
Snipers took positions on the White House roof with guns drawn as people were cleared off the streets. Some people were heard screaming.
Reporters in the White House briefing room said they were told to take shelter in the White House basement during the incident.
West Executive Drive is located within the security perimeter of the White House complex and separates the West Wing offices from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, where additional offices for the Executive Office of the President are located.
Secret Service agents near the entrance of the West Wing of the White House on Friday after a shooting occurred nearby. (AP photo)
A surge in breaches at the White House over the recent years has prompted security revisions at the executive complex.
In 2014, knife-wielding Omar Gonzalez, an Iraq War veteran, jumped the White House fence and ran into the building.
Another man, Joseph Caputo, scaled the fence surrounding the complex on Thanksgiving of last year.
In 2011, Oscar Ortega-Hernandez fired his weapon at the White House and was subsequently charged with attempting to assassinate Obama or a member of his staff.