The white supremacist who allegedly started a shootout at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum allegedly left behind notes that claimed the Holocaust was a "lie," and included furious anti-Semitic rants including one that President Obama "was created by Jews."
The hate-filled notes were revealed today in a criminal complaint that charged James von Brunn, 88, with first-degree murder in the death of Stephen Tyrone Johns, the museum guard who opened the door for elderly man to let him into the museum.
According to the complaint filed in federal court in Washington, handwritten notes found in von Brunn's car stated, "You want my weapons -- this is how you'll get them. The Holocaust is a lie. Obama was created by Jews. Obama does what his Jew owners tell him to do. Jews captured America's money. Jews control the mass media. The 1st Amendment is abrogated -- henceforth."
To read the entire criminal complaint, click here.
Von Brunn is facing first-degree murder and weapons charges, but investigators and prosecutors are "looking at potential civil rights or hate crimes" charges, Joe Persichini, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington field office said at a press conference near the museum today.
According to the complaint, video cameras captured the entire incident, from von Brunn double-parking his 2002 red Hyundai outside the museum through the alleged attack.
"As the defendant approached the entrance to the museum, Special Police Officer ('SPO') Steven [sic] Tyrone Jones, who was employed as a security guard for the museum, opened the door for the defendant," the complaint says. "The defendant raised his rifle, aimed it at SPO Johns and fired one time, striking SPO Johns in the left, upper chest area."
Two additional guards returned fire as von Brunn continued through the door and "raised his firearm as if to fire again," the document continued. "The defendant was shot in the face and fell backwards outside the door."
Ambulances rushed von Brunn and Johns to George Washington University Hospital after the incident. Johns died at the hospital of injuries sustained in the attack, and von Brunn remains in critical condition.
Von Brunn allegedly used a .22-caliber rifle, and the complaint notes that three .22-caliber cartridge casings were recovered at the scene, indicating that the suspect fired three shots.
Already a convicted felon for a 1981 crime, von Brunn was prohibited from possessing a gun. "Obviously, that will be something that will be followed up," D.C. Metro Police Chief Cathy Lanier said at a press conference today.
People who know von Brunn described him as a volatile, angry man whose raging prejudices ramped up in recent years because of his frustration with the government and the election of the nation's first black president.
"We thought he was like a pressure cooker, just ready to go off," said one resident of Easton, Md., where von Brunn recently lived.
"We always had the sense though that there was an anger under him," said another acquaintance. "Yes, I would say that he was crazy," a man added.
John de Nugent, a self-described white separatist who never met von Brunn in person but was in contact with him, said Wednesday's shooting didn't come as a surprise to him.