Gunman charged with murder in museum shooting

June 11, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A man who shot and killed a security guard at the National Holocaust Museum in Washington is being charged with pre-meditated murder.88-year-old white supremacist James Von Brunn arrived at the Holocaust Museum armed with a rifle and decades of hatred he was removed as an accused killer.

Cathy Lanier DC Metropolitan Police Chief said, "James Von Brunn is officially being charged at this point with murder"

Police say James Von Brunn double-parked his car outside the museum just before 1:00 pm Wednesday and walked towards the museum's main entrance. Security guard Stephen Johns was kind enough to hold open the doors for the elderly man, who responded by firing a .22-caliber rifle at the guard. Other guards returned fire, but Johns died soon after at a nearby hospital ... leaving a grieving family.

Stephen T. Johns Jr. said, "He was a loving father and he was my hero."

The investigation against James Von Brunn is moving ahead on two fronts, as a criminal case, and as a potential hate crime.

Joseph Persichini FBI said, "We know what Mr. Von Brunn did yesterday at the Holocaust museum, now it is our responsibility to determine why he did it."

The FBI says Von Brunn is a well-known anti-Semite and racist. Court documents say police found a note in his car that says the Holocaust is a lie and that President Obama was created by Jews. Now he's hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the face-in critical condition, labeled by the FBI as a domestic terrorist.

Civil rights groups say they had monitored James Von Brunn's public writings for decades. The FBI says it had no open investigations of him before Wednesday's attack.

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