Man accused of Holocaust Museum shooting dies

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on the day after the shooting
Image: Albert Herring.

James von Brunn, the suspect in the June Holocaust Museum shooting, died Wednesday at the age of 89.

Von Brunn, a self-defined white nationalist, had been indicted for the murder of security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns and seven other counts, four of which were capital crimes. He had been undergoing psychiatric evaluation at a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina in the months following the attack. The cause of his death has not been released.

Von Brunn had apparently been planning the attack for months and had other plans for attacks throughout Washington DC. At about 12:49 p.m., von Brunn drove his car to the 14th Street entrance of the museum. Von Brunn entered the museum when security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns opened the door for him.

Authorities said he then raised a .22-caliber rifle and shot Johns, who later died of his injuries at the George Washington University Hospital. Two security guards, Harry Weeks and Jason "Mac" McCuiston, returned fire, wounding von Brunn. According to police officers at the scene, a third person was injured by broken glass but refused treatment at the hospital.

Von Brunn was vehemently anti-Semitic, saying that books like The Diary of Anne Frank were fabricated, and until the attack ran a anti-Semitic website called 'The Holy Western Empire'. Prosecutors said that von Brunn wanted "to send a message to the Jewish community" that the Holocaust was a fraud and "he wanted to be a martyr for his cause."

"Gunman kills one at Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C." — Wikinews, June 10, 2009