An elderly man described by the media as a white supremacist has been shot and critically wounded after killing a security guard at the Washington Holocaust Memorial museum.
The attacker has been identified as James W. von Brunn. The guard, Stephen Tyrone Jones, died of his injuries in hospital. The museum will be closed today in his memory.
“In these days and times you never know when someone is going to grab a gun and use it in an inappropriate way as was done today,” said Washington’s Mayor Adrian Fenty.
Von Brunn, 88, appears on a neo-nazi website and is the author of books on Hitler and the Holocaust. He went to jail in 1981 for carrying a gun in the US central bank. The authorities have not yet confirmed he is the author of the attack.
Extreme right-wing websites hailed Von Brunn after the news broke, calling him a “real American hero”.
President Barack Obama expressed his shock and sadness following the attack.