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Shots Fired at D.C. Holocaust Museum

1:33 PM, Jun 10, 2009 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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Very few details, but from Fox News:

At least two people were shot at the national Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, an official told FOX News.

Other media reports said a man walked into the museum and shot a security guard. Another guard returned fire, wounding the alleged shooter.

There are conflicting reports from D.C. Police, who put the number of people shot at two, and the National Park Police, who say there were three. Sounds like it's likely a guard and the shooter who were shot for certain, and both are on their way for treatment:

D.C. police spokeswoman Traci Hughes says a person walked into the museum with a rifle and shot a guard. Hughes says the shooter was also shot.

Hughes says the victims' conditions were not known. Both were being rushed to a hospital.

WTOP reports a sequence of events, and says the third injured person may have been hurt by flying glass.

D.C. police spokeswoman Traci Hughes says a person walked into the museum with a rifle and shot a security guard just before 1 p.m. Then two other security guards returned fire, striking the alleged shooter.

The guard and suspect have been transported to George Washington Hospital. No word on either's condition at this time.

A third person was injured from flying glass.

The museum is described as having a heavy everyday security presence, and requires going through a metal detector before entering. Sounds like better news than it could have been that the shooter was stopped early in whatever spree he had planned.

Update: The Washington Post says three were indeed shot- one security guard and two others-and doesn't mention that the shooter was among the injured.

Update: Witness reports from inside the museum:

Dave Pearson, a 6th grade teacher in the Washington, D.C., 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."

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.

Update: Suspect is said to be white, male, born in 1920.

Update: The suspect is allegedly James W. von Brunn, an 89-year-old white supremacist (and a painter, apparently).

Update: Here's the story of von Brunn's 1981 arrest (from the NYT), after which he served six and a half years in prison:

A man complaining of the high interest rates and inflation threatened to take members of the Federal Reserve Board hostage today but was arrested without any shots being fired, a police spokesman said.

The police said that the man, identified as Jim von Brunn, went up to the second floor, where he threatened a security guard with a .38-caliber pistol. The man was disarmed without any shots being fired.

On his personal website, von Brunn himself described it differently:

In 1981 Von Brunn attempted to place the treasonous Federal Reserve Board of Governors under legal, non-violent, citizens arrest. He was tried in a Washington, D.C. Superior Court; convicted by a Negro jury, Jew/Negro attorneys, and sentenced to prison for eleven years by a Jew judge. A Jew/Negro/White Court of Appeals denied his appeal.