U.S. Park Police said Saturday night they had identified a man they think “may have information” in connection with an investigation of a possible shooting incident near the White House.
Sgt. David Schlosser, a Park Police spokesman, said investigators now think only one car was involved in the Friday night incident that gave rise to reports that shots had been fired on Constitution Avenue south of the White House.
Park police were more cautious Saturday in discussing a motive for the possible gunfire.
Friday night, authorities indicated that they did not at that time think that the White House was a target of any shots that were fired.
But Saturday night, Schlosser said investigators wished to complete their probe of the matter before making any final determination.
The White House is about one-half mile from the 1600 block of Constitution Avenue NW. Part of the south portico is visible from there. A search was conducted on Constitution Avenue for evidence in the matter.
It was not clear whether the search extended to the Ellipse, just north of Constitution, or to the grounds of the White House itself.
In the latest account of the matter, Schlosser said that about 9:30 p.m. the Park Police “investigated a sound of shots fired” in the 1600 block of Constitution.
As the investigation went on, Schlosser said, a vehicle was found in the 2300 block of Constitution Avenue NW. Authorities said Friday that a rifle was found in the vehicle.
In his statement Saturday night, Schlosser said “evidence in the vehicle” caused police to seek Ortega, who Schlosser said “may have information as to what transpired.”
Earlier reports of the incident had suggested that two cars may have been involved and that occupants of one may have been firing at the other.
Police said Ortega is 5 feet 11 inches tall and 160 pounds with a medium build, brown eyes and black hair.
He has several tattoos, the park police said.
According to the police statement, three dots were tattooed on his right hand, “Ortega” was on his upper back and a tattoo of rosary beads and clasped hands were on his right chest.
His left chest bore a tattoo of folded hands, and “Israel” was on the left side of his neck, Schlosser’s statement said.
Police asked anyone with information to contact local law enforcement or the Park Police at (202) 610-7500 for immediate assistance.
Less urgent calls, he said, could be made to the investigations branch tip line at (202) 610-8737.
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