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White House intruder overpowered guard, made it to East Room

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Posted at 5:45 PM, Sep 29, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-29 20:50:50-04

The White House intruder made it to the East Room.

Omar J. Gonzalez, an Iraq War Army veteran, overpowered the Secret Service agent who was guarding the front door of the White House, The Washington Post reports.

Gonzalez, who was carrying a knife, then ran through the first floor and was tackled in the East Room. On the way, he passed a staircase that leads to the president's living quarters.

The East Room is often used for presidential addresses, receptions and ceremonies. Gonzalez almost made it to the Green Room – near the opposite lawn that he started from.

Secret Service officials previously said Gonzalez was subdued just inside the front door, which was unlocked. An alarm system that would have alerted more agents was muted, The Washington Post reports.

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson will face questions about the incident from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Tuesday. She was appointed in 2013 after Secret Service agents were caught hiring prostitutes in Colombia.

Gavin Stern is a national digital producer for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on twitter at @GavinStern or email him at gavin.stern@scripps.com