Washington, June 11 (ANI): A 88-year-old White supremacist walked into the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum with his rifle and shot a security guard before shooting himself on Wednesday.
Law enforcement officials identified the gunman as James W. von Brunn, who embraces various conspiracy theories involving Jews, Blacks and other minority groups and at one point waged a personal war with the federal government.
The gunman and the security guard were both taken to the nearby George Washington University Hospital on Wednesday afternoon, with von Brunn handcuffed to a gurney, The New York Times quoted witnesses, as saying.
The guard, Stephen T. Johns, died a short time later. Museum officials said he had worked there for six years.
George Washington University Hospital officials, where von Brunn, Johns and an unidentified victim with less serious injuries were taken, said Johns suffered a gunshot wound to his chest and died there.
Von Brunn was shot in the face, and the bullet exited from his neck, according to a high-ranking police source. He underwent surgery and was described as being in critical condition last night.
Police recovered a notebook in the suspect’s possession that apparently contained a list of District of Columbia locations, including Washington National Cathedral. Police bomb squads were sent to at least 10 sites.
“There are no words to express our grief and shock over events. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Officer Johns’ family. The museum plans to close today and fly its flags at half-staff in his memory,” the museum said in a statement.
The museum, which has about 400 employees and 300 volunteers, gets about two million visitors a year, The Washington Post reports.
Von Brunn is said to have been a leading writer in the white supremacist fringe for many years. He also appears to be the author of a recent Internet posting suggesting that President Obama’s background is being hidden from the public.
His online book, “Kill the Best Gentiles,” contains hundreds of pages of conspiracy theories that include Holocaust denial. (ANI)