Francisco Martin Duran
Francisco Martin Duran is most known for his actions of October 29, 1994, when he fired 29 rounds from an SKS
The SKS is a Soviet semi-automatic rifle chambered for the 7.62x39mm round, designed in 1943 by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov. SKS-45 is an acronym for Samozaryadnyj Karabin sistemy Simonova, 1945 Simonov system, 1945), or SKS 45. The Sks is a scaled down version of the PTRS-41 anti-tank rifle also...

 rifle at the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

. He was later convicted of attempting to assassinate United States President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Events of the Day

On Saturday October 29, 1994, dressed in a trench coat, Duran went up to the fence overlooking the north lawn of the White House and fired a 7.62x39mm SKS semi-automatic rifle (Chinese-made copy Type 56) at a group of men in dark business suits on the White House lawn. Two nearby boys claimed they had remarked aloud just before the shooting that one of the men looked like Clinton. Secret Service
United States Secret Service
The United States Secret Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The sworn members are divided among the Special Agents and the Uniformed Division. Until March 1, 2003, the Service was part of the United States...

 officers immediately began running across the lawn, guns drawn, when citizens Harry Rakosky, Ken Davis, and Robert Haines tackled Duran and pinned his arms until he could be subdued. Clinton was reportedly inside watching a football game at the time of the shooting and was unharmed. The incident followed just six weeks after Frank Eugene Corder
Frank Eugene Corder
Frank Eugene Corder crashed a stolen Cessna 150 onto the South Lawn of the White House early on September 12, 1994, apparently trying to hit the building; he was killed, and was the sole casualty.-Background:...

 crashed a Cessna
The Cessna Aircraft Company is an airplane manufacturing corporation headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, USA. Their main products are general aviation aircraft. Although they are the most well known for their small, piston-powered aircraft, they also produce business jets. The company is a subsidiary...

 into the White House south lawn and prompted debate about closing off traffic on that area of Pennsylvania Avenue
Pennsylvania Avenue
Pennsylvania Avenue is a street in Washington, D.C. that joins the White House and the United States Capitol. Called "America's Main Street", it is the location of official parades and processions, as well as protest marches...

. No one was harmed in the assassination attempt.


The most important charges in the two-week trial were attempted murder of the President and four counts of assaulting a federal officer (the Secret Service agents). Duran had served prison time previously, convicted of aggravated assault with a vehicle in the U.S. Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

, and therefore, beyond the attempted murder of the President he was also charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The other charges were use of an assault weapon during a crime of violence, destruction of U.S. property, and interstate transportation of a firearm with intent to commit a felony.

Duran pleaded not guilty and mounted an insanity defense, claiming that he was trying to save the world by destroying an alien "mist," connected by an umbilical cord
Umbilical cord
In placental mammals, the umbilical cord is the connecting cord from the developing embryo or fetus to the placenta...

 to an alien in the Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

 mountains. Prosecutors stated he was faking insanity, and called more than 60 witnesses to testify that Duran hated government in general, and President Clinton in particular. The jury deliberated for under five hours to reject the insanity defense and arrive at the guilty verdict.

, Duran is serving his sentence at the medium-security Federal Correctional Institution at Florence Federal Correctional Complex
Florence Federal Correctional Complex
The Florence Federal Correctional Complex, located in unincorporated Fremont County, Colorado, south of Florence. The complex is south of Denver and Colorado Springs and west of Pueblo on State Highway 67. The complex was opened in 1994...

 in Florence, Colorado
Florence, Colorado
The City of Florence is a Statutory City located in Fremont County, Colorado, United States. The population was 3,653 at the 2000 census.ADX Florence, the only federal Supermax prison in the United States, is located south of Florence in an unincorporated area in Fremont County...

. The Bureau of Prisons projects his release date to be the year 2029.
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