Holocaust Museum shooting press conference imminent

Photo courtesy of Me
courtesy of Me

There’s going to be a press conference about yesterday’s shooting any moment now. You can tune in to any local station or the major cable news networks to watch, though at the moment NBC4 is talking about the slain guard and CNN Is discussing hate crimes in general.

Update [11:15]: Clearly ‘imminent’ means different things to different people. NBC4 seems to have recognized this and cut away. CNN is keeping an image in the lower corner and says that Mayor Fenty will be opening the press conference.

Update [11:38]: We’re still waiting for the conference to start, which makes me wonder if the delay is because they’re waiting for something specific to happen before they begin. My bet is they’re working to officially charge alleged shooter Von Brunn and want to announce that they have done so.

Update [11:46]: The conference has begun.

Update [11:47]: Recap below the fold.

Mayor Fenty is recapping the events and timeline of the events. Von Brunn entered the museum, fired at least one shot, security guards returned fire.Von Brunn will be charged in the killing of Stephan Tyrone Johns.Chief Lanier and other officials will speak more on this.

Chief Lanier is on the podium and took a moment to recognize Stephan Johns. Von Brunn is officially being charged with murder as well as posession of a firearm in the federal building. Presumably this explains why he’s being charged both by DC and the Feds. Handing over to the FBI rep.

Asst. Dir. J Persichini Jr of the FBI is now speaking. Says charges will be pursued in a dual-pronged manner on both murder as well as civil rights charges. While investigation is ongoing, no evidence appears to exist to indicate that Von Brunn operated in conjunction with anyone else. He’s speaking about the ways that all the local law enforcement groups in DC inter-operate and is praising how well it worked. Now he’s talking about gathering multiple information sources to look at Von Brunn’s contacts in email, telephone, etc, in order to develop a complete picture.

FBI “was aware” of Von Brunn but did not have an active investigation open on him. Now he’s making some assurances about freedom to say offiensive things without being investigated by government. Asking anyone who has had any interaction or observations of Von Brunn to call the FBI or other law enforcement.

Fenty’s back up at the podium, introducing the Holocaust Museum’s chief of staff.

HM CoS has some praise for the security guards, words about hate, thanks to people around the world who have offered support and kind words.

Now we’re in questions. FBI guy answering at the moment.

Q: About timelines. A: We’re working on it.

Q: What’s this talk about lists? A: The vehicle [Von Brunn's?] was seized, we’re following up on the lists and addressing any possible issues.

Q: How did a felon have a firearm? A: Can’t comment.

Q: How did they engage in this hate speech and not get attention? A: These people know how far they can go without crossing the line. Espousing views is not illegal.

Q: [inaudible] A: It’s important people with knowledge come forward and share the statements these people won’t make in a public forum.

Q: [inaudible] A: [Handed over to Lanier] Some timeline information. Johns opened the door for Von Brunn, once he was in he raised the weapon almost immediately.

Q: More about how did a felon have a firearm, isn’t that illegal. A: Yes. We don’t know.

Back to FBI guy.

Q: About the “active shooter” program/scenario A: [Back to Lanier] AS is considered a ‘homicide in progress’ and there’s no time to dawdle. When we arrived we didn’t know if there might be other sites or shooters, acted immediately when we arrived and mobilized to be ready to go anywhere else. Within 20 minutes we’d contacted other agencies we might need to call on for assistance.

Q: Are you concerned about copycats? A: [Back to FBI guy] Vigilance cannot be over-stressed. We need people to respond if they have information. Don’t hesistate to call us. These bad guys know our limits so we need that.

[Fenty is trying to indicate no more questions]

Q: Other charges? A: We’re looking into other possible civil rights charges.

Fenty is back up. Repeating FBI guy’s sentiment: there is hate but there’s much more togetherness. We’ll prosecute. The Holocaust museum is here to educate people about wrongs and make sure they are not repeated. Let’s insure this wrong is not repeated.

Conference has ended.

[I'm sure I missed a Q or two so you'll want to watch the Q&A yourself or get an official transcript down the road]

Well I used to say something in my profile about not quite being a “tinker, tailor, soldier, or spy” but Tom stole that for our about us page, so I guess I’ll have to find another way to express that I am a man of many interests.

Hmm, guess I just did.

My tastes run the gamut from sophomoric to Shakespeare and in my “professional” life I’ve sold things, served beer, written software, and carried heavy objects… sometimes at the same place. It’s that range of loves and activities that makes it so easy for me to love DC – we’ve got it all.


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