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WASHINGTON – An elderly gunman opened fire with a rifle inside the crowded U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on Wednesday, killing a security guard before being shot. Authorities said they were investigating a white supremacist as the suspect.
The 89-year-old assailant was hospitalized in critical condition, Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty said.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the gunman was “engaged by security guards immediately after entering the door” with a rifle. “The second he stepped into the building he began firing.”
One law enforcement official said James Von Brunn, a white supremacist, was under investigation in the shooting, and a second official said the elderly man’s car was found near the museum and tested for explosives. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss the investigation just beginning.
Von Brunn has a racist, anti-Semitic Web site and wrote a book titled “Kill the Best Gentiles.”
In 1983, he was convicted of attempting to kidnap members of the Federal Reserve Board. He was arrested two years earlier outside the room where the board was meeting, carrying a revolver, knife and sawed-off shotgun. At the time, police said Von Brunn wanted to take the members hostage because of high interest rates and the nation’s economic difficulties.
Associated Press – June 10, 2009
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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