Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Breaking News: 2 People Shot at U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

According to The Washington Post, a security guard was shot inside the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.:

A gunman armed with a shotgun walked into the U.S. Holocaust Museum in dowtown
Washington today and opened fire on a security guard before being shot and seriously wounded himself by at least one other guard, authorities said.

The security guard and the gunman were both transported to George Washington University Hospital with serious injuries, police said.

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

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.

D.C. Fire 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 hit 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.

I visited the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum three weeks ago. The facility was packed full of of families and student groups and I cannot begin to imagine how bad this situation could have been. Let's hope that this is not yet another violent expression of anti-Semitism.

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