By Michelle Albert
Holocaust Museum shooter and white supremacist James W. von Brunn is being charged with the murder of Stephen T. Jones, a museum guard, reports the Washington Post. Jones was 39 years old.
Von Brunn is still in critical condition at George Washington University Hospital.
Wednesday evening, the White House issued a statement from President Obama:
“I am shocked and saddened by today’s shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. This outrageous act reminds us that we must remain vigilant against anti-Semitism and prejudice in all its forms. No American institution is more important to this effort than the Holocaust Museum, and no act of violence will diminish our determination to honor those who were lost by building a more peaceful and tolerant world.
“Today, we have lost a courageous security guard who stood watch at this place of solemn remembrance. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this painful time.”
This feeling of mourning is spread all over downtown Washington. The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington is holding an “interfaith solidarity gathering” outside the Holocaust museum today at 2 p.m., reports the Washington Post. Extra security was added to synagogues and Jewish Schools, and the Holocaust museum is closed.
The museum is flying the American flag at half-mast in honor of Jone’s memory, and a garden of flower bouquets has sprung up in front of the museum gates.