A lone gunman wounded a security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on Wednesday before being injured by return fire, according to police and a museum statement.
The suspect was identified as James von Brunn, an 88-year-old white supremacist from Maryland, two law enforcement officials told CNN. Gunfire at the entrance of the museum wounded at least two people Wednesday, emergency officials said. A private security guard and the shooting suspect were wounded, according to officials of the Washington police. Sgt. David Schlosser, a spokesman for U.S. Park Police, told reporters a man armed with a “long gun” entered the museum at 12:50 p.m. and fired at a security officer, and both were wounded in the exchange of gunfire. “My understanding is that two other security officers at the museum returned gunfire at the man that had entered the museum,” Schlosser said. Watch Schlosser tell what’s known so far » Schlosser said he didn’t know exactly what kind of firearm the man had and whether the shooting was before or after he passed through a metal detector. Both Schlosser and the museum statement said the wounded security guard and the gunman were transported to George Washington University Hospital. There was no immediate information on their conditions. Emergency vehicles converged on the scene near the National Mall. See street view of the museum’s location A witness, who identified herself as 19-year-old Maria without providing a last name, told CNN she heard five shots and saw a security guard lying wounded on the ground. “It was definitely a security guard, he was down bleeding on the floor,” she said. “He was face down. His back … blood was coming out.” Watch Maria describe what she saw » Dave Pearson, a sixth-grade teacher in the Washington area, said he was on the museum’s fourth floor when he heard a loud noise. “At the time, we’re visiting and all of a sudden there’s like a boom, and all of a sudden they told us to stop where we’re at,” he told CNN’s Ed Henry. “Only thing we heard was a boom, and that was it.” Watch another museum visitor tell what he saw » A woman who did not give her name said that she understood the shooting happened inside the museum near the security checkpoint at the entrance. She said she was quickly evacuated. “We did see yellow tape down the hall when we were being rushed out,” she said. “They came in and said we had to leave right away and they got us out.” The museum was closed for the rest of the day, and the museum statement said: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the officer and his family.”