I hope and pray that the security guard that was wounded in this incident is able to survive, and my thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends.  I think the angle I want to highlight here, is that this shooter was there to kill, and thus gets the title of ‘active shooter’.  And the ones that responded and were able to stop him from killing, are the security guards.  It wasn’t a SWAT team, or a special forces team, or some other SRT team, it was trained and ready to go security guards.  

   Without a doubt, today’s security professionals who carry weapons are completely aware of the active shooter scenario.  That timing is everything, and you cannot wait on the cavalry to stop something like this or people will die.  It is on the first responders (a security guard with a gun or even a private citizen with a gun) to stop it, and that is the reality of security and crime in today’s world.  

     The more we can train and keep on top of the best industry practices for dealing with active shooters, the better.  It sounds to me like these guys did what was necessary to stop the guy, and certainly sacrificed to stop him.  Right now, a security guard is sitting in a hospital bed hanging on to dear life, but because of their courage, they did their job and stopped this asshole.

   It also sounds like the shooter was prior military and WW2 veteran, a member of MENSA, a white supremacist and had a criminal background.  And what did he do?  He decided to engage targets in a museum, before going through the screening machines and stations.  So the targets would be anyone in that lobby or security guards in this scenario, and he bypassed the security apparatus, and made the security station area the target area.  The shotgun is also a perfect weapon for shooting at multiple targets at close range, and quickly.  Oh, and I guess he had a book as well, and possibly this was a way to promote his book. Now this guy is in the hospital, thanks to the good work of some security professionals. –Matt

Edit:  The guard has died.  Rest in peace, and thank you for your sacrifice. 


2 People Shot at U.S. Holocaust Museum

By Debbi Wilgoren and William Branigin

Washington Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 2:52 PM

A gunman armed with a shotgun walked into the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in downtown Washington today and opened fire on a security guard before being shot and seriously wounded by two other guards, authorities said.

The security guard and the gunman were both transported to George Washington University Hospital with serious injuries, police said. A hospital spokesperson declined to release information on the condition of the two.

A third person sustained minor injuries in the shooting, according to police.

A law enforcement source identified the gunman as James W. von Brunn, who is known to authorities as a white supremacist.

Sgt. David Schlosser, a spokesman for the U.S. Park Police, said the security guard and the gunman were the only two persons who were hit by gunshots. Initial reports said at least one other person sustained gunshot wounds.

He said the museum has been “completely secured and evacuated.”

A spokesman for the museum, Andy Hollinger, said in a statement that after the gunman opened fire, “two Museum security officers returned fire hitting the assailant.”

A security guard and two other people were shot today inside the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in downtown Washington, authorities said.

U.S. Park Police said a gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire on the security guard and that other security guards returned fire. The gunman was reported wounded.

The shooting was reported to police at 12:52 p.m., and officers rushed to the scene just south of Independence Ave. bordering the Mall.

Scores of police and emergency vehicles converged on the scene, blocking 14th Street, a major artery between downtown Washington and the Virginia suburbs.

D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department spokesman Alan Etter said there was no immediate information on the shooter. He said two men were transported to a hospital with “serious” gunshot wounds.

One witness, Dave Unruh, of Wichita, Kan., said he was waiting to enter the museum when he heard one gunshot, then a sequence of four or five gunshots. He said he then heard someone scream, “Hit the floor!” He and his wife, Karen, and their two teenage grandchildren dropped to the floor and were subsequently herded out of the building by authorities.

Unruh called the experience “intensely, extremely frightening.”

By 1 p.m., the street in front of the museum was blocked by a museum police officer. A group of schoolchildren was rushed onto a chartered luxury coach and the bus driver struggled to pull away from the block.

Kimberly Frank, 44, of Chicago, said she was coming out of the museum with her 14-year-old son Tyler when “we heard shots, pretty consecutive, within seconds.”

“We were on the lower level, just getting ready to exit,” Frank said. “I was thinking about what I’d just experienced through the whole memorial. I wasn’t thinking too much of it till I came outside and saw all the people running around.”

Schlosser, the Park Police spokesman, said an unidentified man walked into the museum at about 12:50 p.m. with a “long gun.” He said he did not know whether the gunman was inside or outside the museum’s metal detectors when he was confronted by a security guard.

That guard and at least one other security guard fired shots, and the gunman also fired at the guards, Schlosser said.

A US. Park Police SWAT team then swarmed into the building and carried out a search for anyone else who may have been involved, Schlosser said. He said the gunman apparently acted alone.

Trevor Ezelo, 18, from Arizona, said: “Basically we were in the propaganda exhibit, walking around, and all of a sudden we heard five shots. We all started looking around. We didn’t even think it was gunshots. We thought it was something that fell over. Then a security guard ran in, saying, ‘Move back into the exhibit!'”

Then, Ezelo said, “some lady ran in crying, and we all knew something was wrong.”

In a statement, William Parsons, the museum’s chief of staff, said all staff and visitors were safe.

“One of our guards was shot and has been taken to the hospital,” he said. “The suspect who committed the shooting was shot by our guards and has been taken to the hospital.”

He asked employees to remain in their offices until police finished conducting a sweep of the museum.

“We expect the Museum to be open tomorrow,” Parsons said.

Since it opened nearly two decades ago, the Holocaust museum has become a top attraction for school groups and tourists from across the nation. Groups of various races and ethnic backgrounds converge on the striking stone building daily to tour exhibits that document, in chilling detail, the extermination of 6 million Jews and millions of other people by Germany’s Nazi regime during World War II.

The museum also has played an active role in documenting and decrying what it describes as more recent attempts at genocide, including conflicts in Darfur and Bosnia.

Law enforcement officials attend sensitivity training programs there, and elderly Holocaust survivors have come to the facility — children and grandchildren in tow — for emotional reunions that attest to the failure of the Nazis to achieve their goal.

About 400 employees and 300 volunteers work at the museum, which is both publicly and privately funded. 

Story here.