James von Brunn, Alleged Holocaust Musem Shooter, Dead in Prison at Age 89

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James von Brunn - PRISON PHOTO
  • Prison photo
  • James von Brunn
James von Brunn, the 89-year-old St. Louis native and Washington University graduate who made headlines in June for allegedly storming the National Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. and killing a security guard, has died in prison, according to several news reports.

Von Brunn died just before 1 p.m. today (noon CST), says an official at Butner federal prison in Butner, North Carolina. Von Brunn was in poor health and had a history of heart problems.

On June 10, he opened fire at the Holocaust National Museum and was injured in a firefight with security. A guard was killed and von Brunn was injured.

The photo of von Brunn that appeared on his now-defunct Web site.
  • The photo of von Brunn that appeared on his now-defunct Web site.
​Before the domain name expired, von Brunn operated the Holy Western Empire Web site, which was chock-full of anti-Semitic and racist essays penned by von Brunn. 

Von Brunn was awaiting trial for the murder of Stephen T. Johns, a black security guard who worked at the museum. In von Brunn's car, investigators found a notebook with more racist messages, specifically one that read "Obama was created by Jews," according to court documents. 

As Chad Garrison reported in the days following the shooting, von Brunn was a native St. Louisan and was  involved in student life at Washington University in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

[Von Brunn] got his undergraduate degree in journalism from Washington University where he attended from 1938 to 1943. While at the school von Brunn was president of the SAE fraternity and played on university's football team. Now here's the original speculation I published hours after the shootings...

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