Gunshots were reportedly fired on Friday night, between the White House and the Washington Monument, at around 9 p.m. local time, a CNN report stated. The incident, close to the official residence of the President of the United States, Barack Obama, caused understandable panic.

The shots were heard after two cars were spotted racing through National Mall, a U.S. Secret Service officer who heard the shots confirmed.

Agents stationed on 16th Street heard the shots, then saw the cars heading west on Constitution Avenue, said Ed Donovan, the spokesman for the Secret Service. The police have now closed a stretch of Constitution Avenue for further investigations.

Park Police are searching two scenes: 16th and Const near White House where shoots fired. & on ramp to TR bridge at 23rd & Const, tweeted Segraves, a WTOP Radio host, who also said that one car had been stopped at the intersection of 23rd and Constitution.

Cars went westbound on constitution where at least one car is facing wrong direction after being stopped by police. Nobody in custody, Segraves tweeted a bit later.

Earlier, immediately after the shot, an anonymous Secret Service official reported an abandoned vehicle at 23rd and Constitution, near the Roosevelt Bridge. Other reports suggested that an AK-47 was found inside. No arrests have been made so far

Police officials have declined to comment on links between the gun shots and the proximity of the White House, preferring to pass it off as coincidence.

At this point, we don't think that there's any link to the White House, said David Schlosser, the spokesman for the Park Police, The reason why this is of interest is because of the location (outside the White House area).

President Obama was not in residence when the incident took place. He was on his to an APEC summit in Honolulu.