Ex-Dayton man shot by Secret Service near White House; Sister ‘still trying to figure out what is going on'

The sister of a former Dayton man shot by a Secret Service agent outside the White House on Monday said the family is still trying to understand what happened.

Myron Berryman, 51, was shot about 6 p.m., disrupting President Donald Trump’s televised news conference as a Secret Service agent ushered the president out of the briefing room..

Reached at her Englewood home Tuesday, Sonya Hemmelgarn, Berryman’s sister, said, “We are still trying to figure out what is going on and how my brother is doing.”

Police said Berryman remained hospitalized Tuesday in critical condition. He is expected to face federal assault charges, officials told the Associated Press.

A background check purchased by the Dayton Daily News shows that Berryman previously lived in Dayton, and then later in Maryland and Wheeling, West Virginia.

Credit: NYT

Credit: NYT

The Associated Press reports that law enforcement officials say Berryman claimed to have a gun and was threatening to kill people near the White House.

Hemmelgarn said initial reports were inaccurate, and she would like to see footage of the incident.

“Myron was not armed,” she told the Dayton Daily News.

She said the family will have full statement at a later time and declined further comment.

Berryman approached a uniformed officer just before 6 p.m. Monday at the corner of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, just blocks from the White House, and told the officer he had a weapon, Secret Service Uniformed Division Chief Tom Sullivan said. He then moved aggressively toward the officer and appeared ready to fire before the officer shot him once, Sullivan said.

Sullivan would not answer questions Monday night about whether the man had indeed been armed, but no weapon was recovered at the scene, the officials said.

Before the shooting, Berryman had been shouting that he was going to kill people, according to the officials familiar with the matter.

Sullivan said after the man told the officer he had a weapon, he turned around and “ran aggressively toward the officer, and in a drawing motion, removed an object from his clothing,” Sullivan said. The suspect then “crouched into a shooter’s stance, as if about to fire a weapon” before the officer shot the man once in the torso, he said.

The White House complex was not breached and no one under Secret Service protection was in danger, Sullivan said. Law enforcement officials were still trying to determine a motive and authorities were investigating whether the man had a history of mental illness.

Trump had just begun a coronavirus briefing when a U.S. Secret Service agent escorted him from the briefing room. The president returned minutes later, saying there had been a "shooting" outside the White House that was "under control."

“There was an actual shooting and somebody’s been taken to the hospital,” Trump said. The president said law enforcement had fired the shots and that he believed the individual who was shot was armed. “It was the suspect who was shot,” he said.

Trump said the agent had escorted him to the Oval Office. The White House was placed on lockdown following the incident.

Both the suspect and the officer were taken to the hospital. Sullivan released no information about the officer and would not answer any questions at a late-night news conference near the scene.

An internal review of the shooting by the Secret Service was underway, and the Metropolitan Police Department was also investigating, a standard protocol.

At the White House, Trump praised Secret Service personnel for their work in keeping him safe. Asked if he was shaken by the incident, Trump asked reporters: “I don’t know. Do I seem rattled?”

While in Dayton, Berryman was a professional boxer from 2000-2004 with a record of 3-11. He was listed at 6′3 and was a heavyweight boxer. His last match was at Morgantown, West Virginia in 2004.

In 2012, Berryman was charged in Maryland with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest but the charges were dismissed in 2013, according to Maryland court records.

In April 2020, the state of Ohio filed an income tax lien against Berryman listing an address on Graham Place in Dayton. A reporter visited the listed address Tuesday and the woman living there said she had never heard of him.

In 2014, another man with local ties made national news for his actions at the White House. A federal judge sentenced Joseph Clifford Reel of Kettering to 35 months in prison for crashing his Jeep into a White House barricade the year before as part of a complex effort to spray a protest sign on the White House.

The Associated Press contributed reporting to this article.

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