Friday morning Ortega had been stopped, photographed and released by authorities in Washington after receiving a call about a suspicious person, but apparently they’d found no reason to hold him.
Officials had put out a statement saying that a “Man wearing black clothes had parked his car in view of the White House had opened fire using an assault rifle.”
Shortly after a car was discovered heading out of D.C. into Virginia, abandoned with said assault rifle, an AK-47, inside. They found nine spent shells inside of the car. It was the identification of the car that told investigators to target Ortega.
A spokeswoman of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Lindsey Godwin, says that the FBI took possession of Ortega’s car this afternoon to continue reviewing and processing evidence.
His family had reported him missing on Oct. 31st and an unidentified person that knows him said that he had become more agitated about the government and president over recent weeks. Ortega had stated he ”needs to kill the president” along with other statements referring to President Obama as the “devil” and the “Anti-Christ”.
Police arrested him on Wednesday in Pennsylvania, after being identified by a Hotel clerk when she recognized him from a picture that was being circulated in the media. He was near Indiana Pennsylvania, about 55 miles outside of Pittsburg.
Officials say that 5 rounds were fired by Ortega with a Semi-automatic rifle at the White, house including one embedded in the window of the First Family’s living quarters, the bullet was stopped by ballistics glass. Another shell was found in the exterior of the building, however the service has not stated where.
President Obama was not in the White House at the time of the attack, but in California on a trip to the Asia-Pacific region. He soon after continued traveling on to Hawaii then to Australia.
Ortega did not resist arrest, says Pennsylvania State Trooper, LT. Brad Shields. The 21-year-old’s mental health status is under investigation as he believes he was “sent to attack the white house on a personal mission from God”.
Today he sat quietly in court with his feet shackled, saying only “Yes Ma’am” when asked if he understood that he was being taken back to Washington for his trial. If convicted, Ortega-Hernandez faces up to life in prison.
Sources: Associated Press, Minneapolis Star Tribune and the USA Today