Alachua County Students Safe Despite Shooting in D.C.
An exchange of gunfire at a popular Washington D.C. museum today (June 10) has left a guard dead and a suspect hospitalized in critical condition.
Authorities say an elderly gunman opened fire with a rifle inside the crowded U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The Alachua County Sheriff's Office is monitoring the situation because members of an Alachua County Safety Patrol Trip were visiting D.C. at the time.
All students and personnel of the trip are safe and accounted for, and none of them were in the vicinity of the Holocaust Museum, according to the sheriff's office.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the gunman appeared to have acted alone. She said he began shooting as he entered the building and was "engaged by security guards immediately after entering the
Police said the suspect in today's shooting is 88-year-old white supremacist James Von Brunn. A second official said Von Brunn's car was found near the museum and tested for explosives.
Von Brunn maintains a racist, anti-Semitic Web site. The site says he was in the U.S. Navy Reserves during World War II. He also wrote a book called "Kill the Best Gentile."
An FBI official said today's shooting is being investigated as a possible hate crime.
Von Brunn was convicted in 1983 of trying to kidnap members of the Federal Reserve Board. He had been arrested outside the room where the Fed Board was meeting, carrying a revolver, knife and
At the time, police said Von Brunn wanted to take the members hostage because of high interest rates and the nation's economic difficulties.
A museum official said a couple of thousand people were inside the museum during the shooting.
The Safety Patrol Trip hotline number is 352-367-4126, or you can log onto the trip Web site at www.acsosafetypatroltrip.com.
For media inquiries or rumor control, please call the Public Information Office at 352-367-4050.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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