Law enforcement officials have identified the suspect in the Holocaust Museum shootings as James Wenneker von Brunn, born in 1920, from the Eastern Shore of Maryland. D.C. Police Spokeswoman Traci Hughes reportedly said the suspect walked into the museum at about 1 p.m. ET with a rifle and shot a guard.
Von Brunn runs the website holywesternempire.org (the site has since been suspended), which was listed in 2008 as a hate site by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Von Brunn has a long history of associations with prominent neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers. In the 1980s or early 1990s, von Brunn was employed by Noontide Press, a part of the Holocaust denying Institute of Historical Review, which was then run by Willis Carto, one of America’s most prominent anti-Semites.
Von Brunn is the author of the 1999 book, “Kill the Best Gentiles,” a racist and anti-Semitic tome that argues that whites are seeing “today on the world stage a tragedy of enormous proportions: the calculated destruction of the White Race and the incomparable culture it represents. Europe, former fortress of the West, is now over-run by hordes of non-Whites and mongrels.” A raging anti-Semite, von Brunn blames “The Jews” for the destruction of the West. The book is dedicated to prominent neo-Nazis and racists including Revilo Oliver and Wilmot Robertson.
In 2003, AP reported that von Brunn had painted a portrait of Rear Adm. John Crommelin, a raging anti-Semite who was a close associate of neo-Nazi William Pierce, whose book The Turner Diaries inspired Timothy McVeigh’s bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building.
On his website, von Brunn also claims that in 1981, while wearing a “London Fog raincoat to conceal his weapons,” he attempted to put the whole Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve under “legal, non-violent citizens-arrest.” He wanted “to bind their hands and persuade them to appear on television.” The website says he was sentenced to 11 years for his actions.
A raging anti-Semitic and racist posting on the website arsenalofhypocrisy.com attributed to “James Von Brunn” says that “the Federal Reserve Act (1913) gave JEWS control of America’s Money.” It also says that “America is a Third-World racial garbage dump–stupid, ignorant, dead-broke, and terminal.” It ends with, “Prepare to die, Whitey.”
"I thought in 1945 antisemitism died in Auschwitz, but I was wrong. Its victims perished, antisemitism did not. The antisemite hates the Jews before he or she was born, and therefore, you wonder what kind of mind is the mind of the antisemite who does not live in reality, who hates because he feels the need to hate, and for them it is so easy to hate a Jew because we have been the other, the stranger in so many places, and they simply could not understand why we were still around" - Elie Weisel
WASHINGTON -- A gunman opened fire inside the Holocaust Memorial Museum in the nation's capital Wednesday, shooting and killing a security guard before other officers returned fire and shot the assailant, officials said.
The museum released a statement late Wednesday afternoon confirming that 39-year-old Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns had died of his injuries. He had served on the museum's security staff for six years.
"There are no words to express our grief and shock over today's events," the statement said, adding that the museum would remain closed Thursday in his honor.
Police are looking at an elderly man identified as James Von Brunn as the shooter, FOX News has learned -- though D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier would not confirm the identity of the suspect.
The alleged shooter is the same James W. von Brunn who is a known white supremacist in his late 80s, MyFOXDC reported. He runs a Web site, Holy Western Empire, that carries several anti-Semitic statements.
Von Brunn was sentenced in 1983 to more than four years in prison for attempting to kidnap the Federal Reserve Board after a guard found him outside of a board meeting with a gun, knife and sawed-off shotgun.
Police said he wanted to take the board hostage because of high interest rates and the country's financial problems, MyFOXDC reported.
On his site, Von Brunn insists he was trying to place the board under "legal, non-violent citizens-arrest."
Law enforcement officials said Von Brunn's vehicle, found near the museum, was tested for explosives, and authorities were also raiding his home to check his computer and investigate the incident as a possible hate crime or domestic terrorism.
David Schlosser, a spokesman for the U.S. Park Police, said the gunman entered the museum shortly before 1 p.m. ET and shot the security guard, before two other security guards returned fire and wounded the shooter. Both the shooter and security guard, later identified as Johns, were then sent to a local hospital, he said.
Lanier said the gunman was carrying a rifle and used it immediately. "He raised the rifle and started shooting," she said. "The second he stepped into the building, he began firing."
Lanier told reporters the suspect appears to have been a "lone gunman," and that authorities received no prior threats.
"Our hearts and thoughts go out to the security guard and his family," D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty said at the press conference. Fenty said the gunman is in "critical condition" at the hospital.
President Obama was briefed and was "concerned" and "saddened" by the shooting, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.
There were conflicting reports about how many people were wounded. Another law enforcement official earlier said three people had been shot.
Police and other law enforcement, including the FBI's Terrorism Task Force, had surrounded the museum site Wednesday afternoon.
Internet Hate describes the rapidly expanding practice utilized by racists and extremists to place anti-Semitic, racist, and other hateful material on the World Wide Web. The growth of the Internet has enabled bigoted and sometimes violent messages to reach a much wider and broader audience than ever before. Consequently, these messages of hate have become widely accessible online - in homes, offices, schools, and libraries.
For years extremists have used printing of every kind -- books, pamphlets, posters, newspapers, magazines -- to get their message out. They have also tried to use modern inventions such as movies. radio, television, recorded audio and video tape and even telephone messages to spread their beliefs. So it is not surprising that they have decided to take their hate to the Internet. The Internet lets them reach millions with a click of a mouse.
Haters use the World Wide Web with its colorful web pages, sounds, and images to push propaganda attacking their enemies. Some of these pages suggest that violent action is needed. Old lies are reprinted and new ones are created. Neo-Nazi Skinheads try to sell the latest CDs filled with calls for "racial holy war."
It is fairly easy to create a simple Web page. Many bigots have. They often try to create the false impression that many people are involved in their activities. This frightens their targets and encourages supporters.
The number of racists and anti-Semites is small compared to the rest of the population; in addition, they are fairly spread out. Yet, on the Internet, they can find people who think like them, which strengthens their beliefs and makes them feel less isolate.
Because extremists on the Internet can hide their real identity behind screen names and addresses (like anyone else), they feel free to attack those they hate. They realize there is no way for anyone to know who they are.
This blog was created to shine a light on who these haters are, where they hang out on the web, and the methods they employ to try and intimidate their victims.