Alleged Holocaust museum shooter dies

The 89-year-old man charged with the deadly shooting at Washington's Holocaust museum last June has died, the Associated Press is reporting.

At Butner federal prison in North Carolina, spokeswoman Denise Simmons announced that James von Brunn died shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday.


Simmons said the suspect had "a long history of poor health which included chronic congestive heart failure and sepsis." She said he was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

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.

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.One of the two guards who fired back at von Brunn said he had mixed feelings about his death.

"I'm shocked. I'm glad he's gone. I wish he had his day in court but it'll never come," said Harry Weeks of White Plains, Md.

Weeks returned to work in August and said he thinks often about his slain colleague.

"He was a good man. There's not a day that goes by that I don't miss him," he said of Johns. "It's been very hard, there's not a day that I don't think about him when I'm on post."