Man charged in museum shooting expected to survive, feds say

Shooting suspect James von Brunn is hospitalized in critical condition after being shot by security officers.
The man charged with killing a security officer at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is expected to survive his subsequent shooting by other security officers, the FBI said in a statement released Saturday.

The statement was based on a Thursday court session in which a public defender was appointed for James von Brunn, charged with first-degree murder in the death of Stephen Tyrone Johns, 39, a security officer who police say opened a museum door Wednesday for the 88-year-old reputed white supremacist. “Defendant was not present in court because he is still in the hospital,” FBI Supervisory Special Agent Katherine Schweit said in the written statement. “Government told the court that the defendant was in critical, but stable, condition with an expectation of survival.” Von Brunn was charged Thursday with a federal count of murder and killing while in possession of a firearm in a federal facility. Authorities said von Brunn shot Johns with a rifle at the entrance to the Washington museum after Johns had opened the door for him. Other security guards then shot von Brunn, authorities said. Johns and von Brunn were taken to a hospital, and Johns died later Wednesday. The FBI said police were investigating whether the killing of Johns, who was black, might be considered a hate crime.

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According to court records, investigators found a handwritten message in a notebook in von Brunn’s car. The note said the “Holocaust is a lie” and that President Obama “was created by Jews,” according to an FBI affidavit. “Obama does what Jew owners tell him to do. Jews captured America’s money. Jews control the mass media. The First Amendment is abrogated — henceforth,” the message said, according to the affidavit.

At the end of the writings, according to the affidavit, was the signature: James W. von Brunn. Von Brunn, of Maryland, had a Web site called “The Holy Western Empire” on which he promoted his book, “Kill the Best Gentiles.” The book called the Holocaust a hoax and claimed the Jewish-led “Illuminati” and Jewish figures such as Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx worked “to destroy Western civilization and the Aryan nation that created it.” Von Brunn served six years in prison for trying in 1981 to kidnap Federal Reserve Board members because of high interest rates. He blamed his prison term on a “Negro jury, Jew/Negro attorneys” and “a Jew judge,” he said on his Web site.