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Obama 'shocked' over Holocaust Museum shooting


WASHINGTON, June 11 (RIA Novosti) - U.S. President Barack Obama has expressed shock and sadness over Wednesday's shooting at the Washington Holocaust Memorial Museum, in which a neo-Nazi fatally injured a guard.

The gunman, later identified as James von Brunn, aged 88, entered the main entrance of the museum, located a few minutes' walk from the White House, and opened fire on the guards. Two guards were wounded, and the attacker suffered a head injury in the return fire.

"I am shocked and saddened by today's shooting at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. This outrageous act reminds us that we must remain vigilant against anti-Semitism and prejudice in all its forms," President Obama said in a statement.

One of the wounded guards, Stephen Johns, 39, later died in a hospital, where Brunn was also hospitalized in a critical condition.

"Today, we have lost a courageous security guard who stood watch at this place of solemn remembrance. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this painful time," Obama said speaking about the late Johns.

Obama, who last week visited a WWII Nazi concentration camp in Germany, added that "No American institution is more important to this effort than the Holocaust Museum, and no act of violence will diminish our determination to honor those who were lost by building a more peaceful and tolerant world."

The hospitalized gunman is a WWII veteran and has in the past attracted publicity for his racist and anti-Semitic views. He served a five-year term in a federal prison in early 1980s for attempting an armed kidnapping at the Federal Reserve.

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