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article imageHolocaust Museum suspected shooter's son wishes his dad had died

By Nikki Weingartner     Jun 15, 2009 in Crime
Following the shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington last week, the son of the 88-year-old known racist and anti-Semite went on national television. His words were chilling, wishing his father had died on that day.
In an interview on ABC's Good Morning America, the son of 88-year-old James von Brunn made some terminal statements against his father's hate and the actions he took last week when he walked in and immediately opened fire on visitors of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., killing one security guard, Stephen Johns.
In the interview with Diane Sawyer, 32-year-old Erik von Brunn called his father's actions "unforgivable," and a cowardly act, stating that:
"The wrong man died that day."
The younger von Brunn, a teacher and science fiction writer stated that he loved his father but that he had no plans for future communication with him, who he described as a man who continually "spewed the same hatred" that was a source of abuse suffered by the von Brunn family not only in the past but now, following the shooting.
Despite his long-time antisemitic views and white supremacist associations, including online hate groups, Erik was surprised by his father's actions, equating it to just "talk." His father also had a racist website and wrote a book entitled "Kill the Best Gentiles." In 1983, it was reported that von Brunn was convicted of the attempted kidnapping of members of the Federal Reserve Board where two years prior, he had been arrested outside the board room carrying a revolver, knife and sawed-off shotgun. It was said that he wanted to "take the members hostage because of high interest rates and the nation's economic difficulties."
In an interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC's Good Morning America programme today, the son of the man accused of killing security guard Stephen Johns at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum said he wishes his father died instead of Johns.
During his condemnation of his father's actions, Erik expressed condolences to 39-year-old Stephen Johns' family and stated:
Now, it is not only my family's lives that are in shambles, but those who were directly affected by his actions, especially the family of Mr. Johns, who bravely sacrificed his life to stop my father."
James von Brunn is expected to make a full recovery and faces charges of murder for "allegedly" shooting and killing the security guard.
On Wednesday, June 10, James von Brunn was immediately met by a force of security guards when he entered the door of the Holocaust Museum and opened fire with a .22 caliber rifle, killing one. A list was found on him and his vehicle, which was found near the museum, was tested explosives. According to The Huffington Post, Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier stated that "The second he stepped into the building he began firing." Security guards shot and wounded von Brunn.
Local police and the FBI are still investigating the shooting that has been condemned by Congress as well as shocking the Israeli government and a "prominent" Muslim organization.
Ironically enough, June 10th is also known in many states as "Juneteenth," or "Emancipation Day," which symbolically recognizes the official abolishment of slavery in the state of Texas. Johns was a 6-year veteran of the museum. He was also black.
Johns' brave actions were noted by the Holocaust Museum's director, Sara Bloomfield, stating in an email that he:
"died heroically in the line of duty."
See Facebook wall in honour of Stephen Tyrone Johns.
Donations for the family can be made here.
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