With quick legs and a knife in his pocket, Omar Gonzalez made it through the front door of America’s most heavily guarded home on Sept. 19, before he was finally stopped by the Secret Service. But the fallout has only begun. Long before Gonzalez, an Iraq War vet from Texas, leaped the fence, he had been flagged as a potential danger–for walking near the White House with a hatchet and for filling his car with 11 guns and a map that pointed to the building. History is replete with encroachments, but this latest incident has launched a full review of the President’s safety.
TOO MANY WAYS IN
1 2 3 4 5
1 // FEBRUARY 1974, BY HELICOPTER
Robert Preston, an Army private, stole a helicopter from Fort Meade, Md., and headed for the White House. He was forced down in a hail of bullets on the South Lawn, where he was arrested.
2 // DECEMBER 1974, BY CAR
Marshall Fields crashed his Chevy Impala through the 19th century wrought-iron White House gates, driving up to the North Portico with a fake bomb strapped to his body. He surrendered after four hours of negotiations.
3 // SEPTEMBER 1994, BY PLANE
Frank Eugene Corder stole a Cessna 150 two-seater aircraft from an airfield in Maryland and flew it through restricted airspace to crash into the South Lawn, skidding the wreckage to the building. He died as a result.
4 // NOVEMBER 2011, BY LONG SHOT
Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez fired at least eight rounds from a semiautomatic rifle at the White House while sitting in his car. One bullet struck a window of the second-floor residence, but it did not pierce the ballistic glass.
5 // SEPTEMBER 2014, ON FOOT
Omar Gonzalez jumped the White House fence and became the only intruder in modern history to make it into the building. Fence jumping occurs at the White House about a dozen times a year.
This appears in the October 06, 2014 issue of TIME.
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