Northeast Ohioan witnesses US officials shoot down Chinese spy balloon

Published: Feb. 4, 2023 at 6:13 PM EST

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WOIO) - A Northeast Ohioan captured the moment a U.S. fighter jet shot down the Chinese spy balloon over the Atlantic Ocean Saturday afternoon.

Video caught by WMBF's meteorologist Robert Whitehurst shows the moments after the US shot down the Chinese balloon off the coast. (Robert Whitehurst/WMBF)

Pentagon officials confirmed the balloon was shot down by an F-22 Raptor at around 2:40 p.m. nearly 6 nautical miles off the coast near Myrtle Beach, according to the Associated Press.

The AP reports the balloon was originally seen flying over Montana, which is home to one of the country’s three nuclear missile silo fields at Malmstrom Air Force Base.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Friday canceled a scheduled trip to high-stakes Beijing that was aimed at easing tensions between the U.S. and China, according to the AP.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre previously told reporters the U.S. had been tracking the balloon since Tuesday, when President Joe Biden was first briefed on the incident.

This is a developing story. Return to 19 News for updates.