Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns has been identified as the guard shot on duty at the National Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. Updates are added to the bottom of this post as they become available.
Officer Johns is reported to have been inside the museum at the entry point when James Von Brunn walked in carrying a “long gun” and opened fire. Two other security guards returned fire and wounded the shooter.
A spokesman for the U.S. Park Police gave this account:
He raised the rifle and started shooting,” she said. “The second he stepped into the building, he began firing.
The following is a statement released about Officer Johns today:
Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns died heroically in the line of duty today. There are no words to express our grief and shock over these events. He served on the Museum’s security staff for six years. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Officer Johns’ family.
We have made the decision to close the Museum tomorrow in honor of Officer Johns, and our flags will be flown at half mast in his memory.
The man who shot Mr. Johns has been identified as James W. Von Brunn, 88 years old, a World War II veteran and known to be a white supremicist and anti-semite. Von Brunn spent 6-1/2 years in prison for entering the Federal Reserve building with a satchel and a sawed-off shotgun in 1981. He said he was upset about interest rates and intended to make a citizen’s arrest. He has a website, Holy Western Empire. If you are interested in more about Von Brunn, check it out. He does a lot of talking about himself.
Update: 8:50 am CST 6-11-09: The Washington Times is reporting that former Defense Secretary William Cohen when he saw a car stopped “just outside the driveway. “I noticed an older man, but I didn’t pay that much attention,” he said. Presumably, Cohen saw the shooter at that time. One witness saw a security guard pull a gun, one was walking on the mezzanine and “saw a guy with a silver length of gun walking through” the door.
Police retrieved a notebook from Von Brunn that prompted bomb squads to disburse to “least ten sites,” just after the shooting.
The slain guard, Stephen T. Johns worked for Wakenhut security company, with the last six years’ assignment at the Holocaust Museum
For original reporting as it was happening:
James Von Brunn is National Holocaust Museum Shooter: James Von Brunn is White Supremicist?