description

An ambulance leaves the scene. By Gerald Herbert of the AP

By Mark Memmott

A security guard and a gunman have been taken to a Washington-area hospital after a shooting incident at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum just off the National Mall in Washington, WTOP-radio is reporting.

According to the news station, police say the gunman opened fire -- hitting the guard -- before being shot by two other guards.

Be sure to hit your "refresh" button to see our latest updates:

Update at 4:40 p.m. ET : The Holocaust Museum has identified the security guard killed by the shooting at that institution today as Stephen Tyrone Johns who worked there for six years.

Here's the museum's statement:

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.

Update at 4:28 p.m. ET: NPR's Allison Keyes has confirmed with a source who is in a position to know that the security guard has died.

Update at 4:22 p.m. ET: The Associated Press now reports it too has been told by "officials" that "a security guard shot at the Holocaust Museum has died."

Update at 4:19 p.m. ET: Former Defense secretary William Cohen is on CNN now, saying that he was "30 or 40 feet away" when the shooting began. He heard at least four shots, Cohen says, but didn't see anything. "I ducked" and then got out of the area, Cohen adds.

Update at 4:16 p.m. ET: There's an archive here of the website associated with the man who's been named in news media reports as the suspect.

Update at 4:12 p.m. ET: CNN is now reporting that it also has been told by police sources that the security guard who was shot has died.

Update at 4 p.m. ET: WJLA-TV is reporting that it has been told by "high level D.C. police sources" that the security guard has died. Other news media are not saying that at this time. NPR News has not independently confirmed the report.

Update at 3:52 p.m. ET: The Washington Post says "police are confirming that the name of the suspect is James von Brunn, a white supremacist, born 1920."

The Post also says it's been told by a "police source" that "law enforcement agencies using bomb-sniffing dogs are responding to more than 100 'targets' that were listed in a notebook found in the gunman's possession."

Update at 3:42 p.m. ET: The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, has already posted quite a bit of information about the man who's been named in news media reports as the suspect.

Update at 3:38 p.m. ET: MSNBC says former Defense secretary William Cohen was inside the museum when the shooting took place.

Update at 3:31 p.m. ET: Once again saying that it has been told by "a law enforcement official" that the suspect is an 88- or 89-year-old man named James von Brunn, the Associated Press adds that it has also been told von Brunn's vehicle was found near the museum and has been tested for explosives.

(And once again, we'll note that NPR News has not independently confirmed that anyone named von Brunn is a suspect.)

Update at 3:25 p.m. ET. An eyewitness account, courtesy of the Associated Press:

Update at 3:04 p.m. ET: The Associated Press is referring to "James von Brunn, an elderly white supremacist," as the person who is "being investigated as a potential suspect." That's the same name as we noted others have been reporting.

(And we should repeat: NPR News has not independently confirmed any of the reports that a man named von Brunn might be the gunman.)

Update at 2:54 p.m. ET: D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier just told reporters that a "long rifle was visible as he (the gunman) entered the museum."

Update at 2:51 p.m. ET: Asked if the gunman is James von Brunn, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier just told reporters that she cannot confirm the man's identity at this time. She also said there had been no prior threats to the museum and that evidence indicates this was the act of one person. (Note: NPR News has not independently confirmed any of the reports that a man named von Brunn might be the gunman.)

Update at 2:48 p.m. ET: D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty just described the wounded guard's condition as "grave" and the suspected gunman's condition as "critical."

Update at 2:46 p.m. ET: If you can't get through to the webpage that has a biography of the man -- James von Brunn -- who some news media are saying they've been told is the suspect, try this "cached" version of the page.

Update at 2:43 p.m. ET: At the White House, spokesman Robert Gibbs has told reporters that the president has been told about the shooting and obviously is saddened by the news.

Update at 2:35 p.m. ET: We have to caution again that reports can change. But both MSNBC and CBS News are saying they've been told by law enforcement officials that the suspected gunman is named James von Brunn, who's said to be about 89 years old and to have white supremacist connections. A website with what is presented as a biography of von Brunn appears to be crashing from overuse at this hour.

(Note: NPR News has not independently confirmed any of the reports that a man named von Brunn might be the gunman.)

description

A police vehicle rushes to the scene.>Win McNamee/Getty Images

 


Update at 2:22 p.m. ET: There have been many details about this story that have changed even in the short amount of time since the shooting occurred, so keep that in mind when considering this report from MSNBC: "The suspect, who was not identified, was reportedly a man, born in 1920, who had possible connections to hate groups or anti-government groups."

Update at 2:10 p.m. ET: WUSA-TV says the injuries to both the guard and gunman are "critical."

Update at 2:05 p.m. ET:

The timeline keeps changing a bit. WTOP now says the shooting happened at 12:50 p.m. ET, about five minutes later than previously estimated.

The station also says it's been told by the U.S. Secret Service that it is not taking any additional security measures at other sites in D.C.

Update at 2:02 p.m. ET: The museum, by the way, gets about 1.5 million visitors each year.

Update at 1:59 p.m. ET: The gunman and guard are being treated at George Washington University Hospital, police say.

Update at 1:52 p.m. ET: U.S. Park Police spokesman Sgt. David Schlosser, who's briefing reporters now, just confirmed that the gunman and one security guard were shot and taken to a hospital.

Update at 1:35 p.m. ET: Alan Etter, a D.C. Fire Department spokesman, just told CNN that two men have been taken to a hospital with gunshot wounds, and that a third man has been treated at the scene for injuries related to flying glass.

Update at 1:32 p.m. ET: WTOP says the incident happened around 12:45 p.m. ET. A third person, the station says, might have been injured by flying debris.

Update at 1:25 p.m. ET. The Associated Press writes that:

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.

Update at 1:23 p.m. ET: CBS Radio says it's been told by U.S. Park Police that three people were shot.

categories: Crime

1:16 - June 10, 2009