Staff at the White House in Washington DC have been placed in a panicked lock-down after the Secret Service announced a man had shot himself on the grounds.

At around midday, the man took aim on the North Lawn at the home of the US president. Secret Service immediately told media personnel to take cover behind vehicles. "Breaking: Secret Service personnel are responding to reports of a person who allegedly suffered a self-inflicted gun shot wound along the north fence line of the White House," they tweeted.

Just a minute later, they tweeted again: "Update: No other reported injuries related to the incident at the White House."

President Donald Trump was not at the White House at the time of incident. Trump, his wife Melania and his son Baron have been in Mar-a-Lago since Friday. According to Fox News, he is aware of the incident.

According to the Daily Mail, media staff tweeted during the lockdown: "We're sheltering in place at the White House briefing room".