The security agency said that medical personnel had been called to respond to the male victim, but he was declared dead at the scene.
“The subject approached the vicinity of the North White House fence line and removed a concealed handgun and fired several rounds, none of which appear at this time to have been directed towards the White House,” the Secret Service said in a statement.
The agency said they had identified the shooter but were withholding his name until they could notify next of kin. The Metropolitan Police Department will lead an investigation into the shooting with the support of the Secret Service.
The agency alerted the public to the incident following reports of a lock down at the White House. They added that there were no other reported injuries relating to the incident.
As they responded to reports of a gunshot near the north lawn, the Secret Service told those in the White House to shelter in place. As they investigated the incident, agents could be seen sprinting across the north lawn and the executive driveway with their guns drawn.
The shelter in place order was lifted after approximately 45 minutes.
As a precaution, the Secret Service shutdown all roads along the White House perimeter. Traffic around the White House was impacted by the order, the agency said.
President Donald Trump was at Mar-a-Lago in Florida and not in residence at the time of the incident. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president had been briefed on the situation.
Trump is expected to return to Washington D.C. this afternoon to attend the Gridiron Club dinner, an annual gathering with members of the press and D.C. politicos.
Stacey Klein reported from Washington. Phil McCausland reported from New York.