Suspected White Supremacist Opens Fire at Holocaust Museum

  1. Suspected White Supremacist Opens Fire at Holocaust Museum

    An 89-year-old man with ties to white supremacist groups opened fire Wednesday at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, wounding a guard before being shot, according to police.

    Police said the man, identified by NBC News as James Wennecker von Brunn, walked into the museum on the 14th Street side with a long gun and exchanged gunfire with a security guard about 10 minutes before 1 p.m., according to U.S Park Police Sgt. David Schlosser. Both were struck by bullets. Two other security guards then fired upon the gunman, reportedly striking him in the head.

    Two police sources told Williams that von Brunn, who has written a book and several Internet polemics detailing his rage against both Judaism and Christianity, has connections with white supremacist organizations and anti-government groups.

    Alan Etter, of D.C. Fire and EMS, said three adult men suffered injuries. Two had serious gunshot wounds and were transported to George Washington University Hospital. A third suffered minor injuries, possibly from broken glass, and was treated at the scene, Etter said. The FBI reported one person in critical condition.

    Williams reported that the alleged gunman was born in 1920 and lives on Maryland's Eastern Shore. von Brunn also has a criminal past.

    Williams said that in 1981, von Brunn walked into the Federal Reserve with a handgun and sawed-off shotgun. He wanted to take Federal Reserve members hostage over a high interest rates. He was captured by a guard on the second floor of the building, 21st and Constitution. He was arrested and convicted and claims on his own Web site that he served time in prison.
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  3. by   RN1982
    Very sad. Hope the victims recover.
  4. by   marachne
    Kind of surprised to not see a peep about this yet -- apparently at 12:50 EDT an 89 y.o. man who has long-standing ties to neo-nazi and other white supremacist groups walked into the Washington, D.C. Holocaust Museum with a rifle. He shot one security guard (just announced that the guard died in the hospital) before he was himself shot. His website is an ugly, nasty piece of work. The Southern Poverty Law Center has been following him since the 70's. And people got upset when the DHC said to be aware of an uptick in hate related violence? I'm sorry, but words do count, and if people who incite this kind of awfulness aren't called for account for what they do, it means that either no one is paying attention, or they don't care.
  5. by   ElvishDNP
    I saw this....and just had to swallow the vomit that came up.

    I have been to the Holocaust Museum...and it is a somber, breathtaking place. I am so sad that it's now associated with more death and violence. I'm disgusted....and really, really sad.

    (Threads have been merged.)
  6. by   marachne
    The ADL says what I have been trying to say more eloquently than I probably ever could (oh and to add to the awful ironies -- the security guard who died was African American -- the shooter probably saw it as a "two-fer" :

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]New York, NY, June 10, 2009 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said today's shooting at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, in which a white supremacist and anti-Semite opened fire on a security guard before being critically wounded himself, "reminds us in the starkest way where the spread of hatred can lead."
    Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
    The shooting at the United States Holocaust Museum, in which a security guard was critically wounded, is a very sad and tragic event which reminds us, as the Museum itself does every day, in the starkest way, where the spread of hatred can lead.
    The shooter, James Von Brunn (also known as James Wennecke Brunn), is a longtime white supremacist and anti-Semite. He has published an anti-Semitic book, "Kill the Best Gentiles." He has created an anti-Semitic Web site, which he called "The Holy Western Empire." He was arrested and imprisoned in 1981 for using a sawed-off shotgun to try to take Federal Reserve Board members hostage on the grounds that Jews control the nation's banking system.
    Brunn's evil attack, at the very place that was created to remember and teach about evil in the world, is an immediate reminder that words of hate matter, that we can never afford to ignore hate because words of hate can easily become acts of hate, no matter the place, no matter the age of the hatemonger.
    We express our support to the family of the victim of the attack. We recommit ourselves to expose and counter hatred in our society so that horrible events such as the shooting at the Holocaust Museum will no longer be a part of the fabric of our democracy.
  7. by   hillarypeace2006
    How profoundly sad, and I fear as the desperation mounts this is only a preview of what may come. There are so many on the fringe feeling threatened, and if an 88 year old man can excute such an awful event, I fear that there are just younger more dangerous folks waiting in the wings. Emotions have been stirred and they are coming out of the woodworks. What a scary time.
  8. by   flightnurse2b
    i was so sick to my stomach when i saw this on TV. may god bless the security guard who lost his life.... i am glad that the horrible man who shot him was caught.

    i remember my visit to the holocaust museum. i had chills and goosebumps the entire time... especially when they took us in the room with all the shoes....

    hateful words cause so much more damage than people care to admit... and it is a scary time...
  9. by   blue note
    While covering the breaking news story of the shooting today, Shep Smith on Fox news had this to say on the emails he gets:

    And if you can stomach it, a contributor at HuffPost ventured into Stormfront, the major white supremacist web site, to find out what they are saying about the Holocaust museum shooting. Apparently, one thread got shut down because they were too supportive of the shooting. Then, a new thread titled "James W. Von Brunn victim of Jewish extremism" was started. Yikes!
  10. by   RN1982
    Yeah, some people are just nuts.
  11. by   Silverdragon102
    So sad thatthis has happened and also sad that people still think this is OK
  12. by   Purple_Scrubs
    Where does this kind of hate come from? I cannot fathom it.
  13. by   RN1982
    I read that the security guard has died. So very sad for him and his family.
  14. by   hillarypeace2006
    Quote from Purple_Scrubs
    Where does this kind of hate come from? I cannot fathom it.
    Turn your radio dial onto any plethora of AM stations and you will see it. This guy had hate festering from the 50's till today. Don't understand why my sweet little grandma born in 1920 had to perish from a stroke and this guy gets to go around threatening govt offices and shoot and kill people. If there is a god, she has failed miserably at working all those details out.
    Last edit by hillarypeace2006 on Jun 11, '09