From the Washington Post
At 12:40 p.m. yesterday a man stepped through the doors of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. He took two paces, lowered his rifle at a security guard and, before anyone could react, opened fire in a popular national landmark.
The guard, who did not have time to draw his gun, fell bleeding and fatally wounded to the polished floor. Other guards fired back, cutting down the assailant. Terrified patrons, many of them children, dived for safety. And what moments before had been a bright weekday in June became a tableau of violence.
The suspect, identified by law enforcement sources as James W. von Brunn, 88, of Annapolis, was said to be a longtime, "hard-core" supremacist whose Internet writings contain extensive, poisonous ravings against Jews and African Americans.
The slain guard, Stephen T. Johns, 39, of Temple Hills, worked for the Wackenhut security company and had been employed at the museum for six years, the museum said.
The museum, which has about 400 employees and 300 volunteers, gets about 2 million visitors a year.
Many people including former defense secretary William Cohen were there yesterday. And a holocaust survivor was in the middle of recounting her story when the attack happened.
Von Brunn is said to have been a leading writer in the white supremacist fringe for many years. He also appears to be the author of a recent Internet posting suggesting that President Obama's background is being hidden from the public.
His online book, "Kill the Best Gentiles," contains hundreds of pages of conspiracy theories that include Holocaust denial, the ancient hoax of the "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" and wild webs of fantasy about Jewish plotting against white people.
"This is a longtime white supremacist and anti-Semite approaching the end of his life who may have decided to go out shooting," said Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit group in Alabama that tracks right-wing extremists.