Shots were fired near President Bush’s hotel in Memphis, Tenn., tonight about 10:25 p.m. Central time.
One suspect, a 17-year-old boy, was arrested near the Peabody Hotel in the Autozone Park area, but police were not releasing the suspect’s name.
The incident occurred shortly after Bush arrived in Memphis to campaign for his Social Security initiative.
In anticipation of his arrival at the Peabody Hotel, supporters lined the streets of downtown Memphis. But their brush with Bush would be brief as the motorcade sped down Union Avenue.
Police told WorldNetDaily the president was unharmed and was never in danger as a result of the shooting.
The president is scheduled to speak this morning at the Cannon Center downtown.
A U.S. Secret Service spokesman told WorldNetDaily the shooting was unrelated to the president and is a matter being handled by the Memphis police department.
Memphis police said the 17-year-old suspect is in custody for firing shots at officers across the street from the Peabody Hotel.
The youth was reportedly trying to break into cars around Auto Zone Park when a officer spotted him. Officers say he ran and fired shots.
Police caught up with the suspect near the intersection of Third and Monroe streets.
Memphis police reported the youth said he was stealing stereos from cars and was not aware the president was in the neighborhood.
No police officers were hit by gunfire, though some reportedly suffered minor bruises and scrapes in the pursuit of the suspect.
Extra police were on duty in the neighborhood of the hotel because of the president’s overnight stay.
Tennessee is only one stop in a sweep of Southern states where the president has been pushing his Social Security plan. The idea is to assure the elderly their benefits aren’t threatened by the possibility of making retirement accounts private investments — and to tell young workers they have much to gain.
Memphis was the scene of one of America’s most historic assassinations — the murder of the Rev. Martin Luther King April 4, 1968, as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. The 39-year-old civil rights leader was trying to mediate a garbage workers’ strike. He was struck by one bullet and died later at a hospital. James Earl Ray was convicted of the murder but later recanted his confession.
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