ARLINGTON, Va. — Members of the national press and the military are in shock today after a small child fell into the Pentagon's press enclosure and officials were forced to shoot and kill a 35-year old reporter to protect the child.
Witnesses said the boy, aged four and whose name is being withheld, was part of a routine tour group visiting the Pentagon when the group entered the Press Briefing Room. Apparently the child was overheard saying, "Mommy, I want to talk to the reporters," and bounded up onto the podium before anyone could stop him.
Shocking video taken by the Defense Media Activity and displayed on The Pentagon Channel showed the child immediately hit with questions about progress in Operation Inherent Resolve and upcoming naval operations in the South China Sea. Alert Pentagon media personnel quickly announced a catered press conference by Gen. Joe Dunford in an adjacent room, and all but one of the reporters were lured away from the boy.
Unfortunately the correspondent from the Air Force Times, Army Times, Marine Corps Times, and Navy Times instead chose to confront the child and refused to let him leave. Footage shows the journalist became agitated by a growing crowd and began demanding the boy produce a detailed plan for the Marine Corps' gender integration efforts.
As the crying boy desperately tried to find any relevant metrics or graphics to fend off the reporter, members of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency suddenly stormed the room and shot the reporter dead.
"Obviously this was a drastic response," said Pentagon security director Steven Calvary. "Normally we would attempt to distract the reporter by telling them their publication had just been acquired by a Silicon Valley billionaire and their newsroom was being downsized again."
"However, we should remember that a full-grown reporter can easily weigh up to 270 pounds and has hands capable of crushing small paperclips and pencils. I don't really see that we had any other choice."
The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has demanded the Pentagon explain why an endangered group of defense reporters could be easily accessed by a small child. Defense officials privately said the Pentagon press corps is one of their most popular tour attractions and they had even been planning to breed the reporter in question with several female reporters.
The child was later released from the Dilorenzo Health Clinic with minor injuries, but was still responding to media inquiries by referring them to Secretary Carter's remarks of the previous day or shouting for press secretary Peter Cook.
Pentagon officials publicly praised their security officials for their quick response, but remained vague on why they also chose to gas the rest of the press corps as a "routine precaution."