Man shot by Secret Service near White House says he has schizophrenia, had a comb, not a gun

The man who was shot near the White House on Aug. 11 told investigators that he had recently been released from treatment for mental illness but didn’t remember the events that led to him being shot.

On Aug. 11, Myron Berryman, 51, of Forestville, Maryland, approached a Secret Service officer near the corner of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue and said he had a weapon.

He also shouted that he was going to kill people, before charging toward the officer, pulled an object out of his clothing and “crouched into a shooter’s stance, as if about to fire a weapon,” according to a Secret Service official.

Court documents say officers did not find a weapon on the scene, but found that the object Berryman had pulled out was likely a black comb that officers later found on the scene.

The situation prompted President Donald Trump to abruptly be escorted away from a White House press briefing.

According to court documents, Berryman told special agents from the United States Secret Service that in the weeks before the shooting, he had been at Georgetown University Hospital for treatment of schizophrenia. After that, he said he was sent to Safe Journey House, in Waldorf, Maryland, for further treatment, where he stayed until Aug. 10.

Berryman said the only thing he remembered after leaving Safe Journey House was lying on the ground with an officer leaning over him and asking for his name and phone number. He said the officer kept telling him he was going to “make it” and told him to breath.

He told the agents that the next thing he remembers is waking up in the hospital, with no memory of how he got there or why he had been arrested. He said the events that the investigators described to him were likely caused by his mental illness and that he believed they “probably happened.”

The Associated Press Contributed to this report.

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Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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