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Cameras Little Help in Probe of Gunshots Outside Joe Biden Home

The security system did not capture a gunman who fired several shots outside Biden's Delaware home, an official confirmed to NBC News.

Security cameras outside Vice President Joe Biden’s Delaware home did not record a gunman who opened fire near the house Saturday night, a Secret Service official confirmed to NBC News on Tuesday.

The details were first reported by The Washington Post on Tuesday. The Secret Service has said that a vehicle drove by Biden’s home — the vice president and his wife, Jill, were not home at the time — and that several shots were heard before the vehicle left "at a high rate of speed." The paper reported that the security system at the home had been so problematic in the past, at times generating false alarms, that the Secret Service turned it off for months last year.

Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary declined to discuss details of the security system or Saturday’s incident. "As a practice the Secret Service does not discuss the condition, number or locations of cameras and alarms at facilities we protect since this is the type of information our adversaries desire," Leary said in a statement to NBC News. "On the night of the incident in Delaware, the appropriate security measures were in place and fully functioning."

The shots were heard shortly before 9 p.m. Saturday, the Secret Service has said. It is unclear whether the house was struck by gunfire. U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, on Tuesday sent a letter to Joseph Clancy, acting director of the Secret Service, asking for more information. The letter refers to a 2011 incident in which shots were fired at the White House. The Secret Service came under criticism for its handling of that incident, which went unnoticed for four days until the damage was discovered.


— Kristen Welker and Phil Helsel