Holocaust Museum Shooter Dies in Prison Hospital


von-brunnThe 89-year-old man accused of a deadly shooting at Washington’s Holocaust museum died┬átoday in a prison hospital. At a federal prison in North Carolina, spokeswoman Denise Simmons announced that┬áJames von Brunn died shortly before 1 p.m.

Von Brunn’s lawyer, A.J. Kramer, called the death “a sad end to a tragic situation,” but declined further comment.

The elderly suspect had been awaiting trial for the killing of security guard Stephen T. Johns at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on June 10. Von Brunn had been wounded by return fire but survived.

Officials at the prison hospital had previously said chronic medical problems had complicated a psychiatric evaluation for the suspect, a white supremacist who prior to the shooting had written racist and anti-Semitic screeds on the Internet.

Law enforcement officials said von Brunn had a history of virulent racism, ties to white supremacy groups and a criminal record that includes a 1981 bid to seize Fed board members. A guard captured him outside the room where the board was meeting. He had a revolver, sawed-off shotgun and knife in a bag with him. He served more than six years in prison.

Von Brunn is a native of St. Louis, a World War II veteran who served in the Navy for about 14 years, worked in advertising in New York City and moved to Maryland’s Eastern Shore in the late 1960s, where he stayed in advertising and tried to make a mark as an artist. He was living in New Hampshire the year of his arrest at the Fed headquarters.

Public records show that in 2004 and 2005 he lived briefly in Hayden, Idaho, which for years was home to the Aryan Nations, a racist group run by neo-Nazi Richard Butler.

This is a developing story.

{WTOP.com/Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}