Accused White House shooter angered over marijuana laws

The Idaho man accused of firing a high-powered rifle at the White House in 2011 may have been upset with federal marijuana policy, prosecutors allege in a notice to introduce additional evidence filed Thursday.

The document said Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, 22, “expressed anger towards the government regarding the continued criminalization of marijuana."

It also alleges that Ortega-Hernandez’s motive in the shooting, which left five bullet holes in the White House, “was to punish and kill the president, whom he believed was the head of a government that was oppressing its citizens in various ways, such as by continuing to criminalize the use of marijuana.”

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The document is used to try and paint his intentions and motivations of the suspect. Ortega-Hernandez faces 19 charges stemming from the incident, including the attempted assassination of the president. Neither President Obama nor first lady Michelle Obama were at the White House at the time.

The Secret Service said one of the bullets fired by Ortega-Hernandez broke a pane of the White House’s exterior glass before being stopped by a second pane of stronger glass. Another bullet was found embedded in the exterior of the White House.

The document also reveals that Ortega-Hernandez practiced firing the assault rifle in a “desolate crater” near his home in Idaho Falls, Idaho. According to prosecutors, Ortega-Hernandez fired at the White House from his car, which police later discovered near the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge.

Ortega-Hernandez could face life in prison if convicted on all charges.


Jordy Yager contributed.