White House Shooter Sued the IRS

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:19 PM EDT


(CNSNews.com) - The 47-year-old Indiana man who "fired a number of shots" outside the "southernmost tip" of the White House fence late Wednesday morning sued the IRS.

The Associated Press reported that Robert Pickett was fired from his job at the IRS in the mid-1980's and then sued the government.

"He sued the whole world," said Joseph Yocum, the Evansville attorney who represented Pickett in his case against the IRS. "I think he even sued a federal judge, the attorney general...For want of a better term, he was upset at a number of things."

The Secret Service was on routine patrol before the shooting, said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, when they heard shots fired. Pickett was engaged in a 10-minute standoff with the Secret Service, Fleischer said.

Earlier press reports said the suspect was a 17-year-old male. President Bush, who was inside the White House at the time, was never in any danger, according to Fleischer.

U.S. Park Police Sgt. Bob McLean said the suspect waved the handgun in the air and "it was pointed at the White House at one point."

A single shot was fired by a member of the Secret Service emergency response team, said McLean.

Dr. Yolanda Haywood, associate professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University Hospital said Pickett was unusually calm and conscious when he was brought in.

"The patient who came in was not talking, was completely motionless, was not giving any indication that he was having any pain or anything," said Dr. John Williams.

Pickett, who was taken to George Washington University Hospital, will undergo surgery for a non life-threatening injury to his leg and will receive a psychiatric evaluation, according to hospital officials. He is in stable condition.

Pickett, an accountant with no criminal record, lived alone after his parents died, according to neighbors.

"You could see the sadness on his face," said Marwan Wafa of Racine, Wisconsin who lived across the street from Pickett for seven years. Pickett's father died in 1995.

"He was very quiet and reserved," Wafa said. "He was a hard working person."

Pickett's mother died in 1987, according to death records. He lives in the same house his parents lived in before they died.

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