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Holocaust Museum Shooting In Washington D.C.
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An elderly gunman opened fire with a rifle inside the crowded U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on Wednesday, gravely wounding a security guard before two other officers returned fire. The assailant and his victim were both hospitalized.
The gunman was identified by several news agencies as James W. von Brunn, a man in his late 80s. According to a Web site maintained by Mr. von Brunn, heembraces a far-reaching conspiracy theory involving Jews, blacks and other minority groups. Early reports indicated that he lives in eastern Maryland.
However, the Washington police chief, Cathy Lanier, said the identity of the gunman had not been confirmed.
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty of Washington said at an afternoon news conference that the gunman was in critical condition, and the security guard, whom he declined to identify, was in grave condition.
Law enforcement officials said they have long been familiar with Mr. Von Brunn, who has claimed variously to be a member of Mensa, the high-I.Q. fraternity; to have been a P.T. boat captain in World War II and to have been victimized by a court system run by Jews and black people.
A Washington television station reported that one wounded man was seen being wheeled into the emergency room of George Washington University Hospital, not far away, and was handcuffed to a gurney. The wounded guard was taken to the same hospital.
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