Museum Shooter: 'I Swore to Defend My Country'

Von Brunn was on suicide mission, prosecutor says
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2009 5:01 PM CDT
In this artist's drawing by Dana Verkouteren, James von Brunn, left, is seen with defense attorney A.J. Kramer in Washington, DC., on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009.   (AP Photo/Dana Verkouteren)
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(Newser) – James von Brunn planned to die himself when he opened fire at the Holocaust Museum in June, an assault he planned well in advance to spread the word that the Holocaust was a hoax, prosecutors say. Von Brunn, 89, appeared in court for the first time today to answer charges of killing a museum security guard. He spoke little but demanded a quick trial.

“The Constitution guarantees me a speedy and fair trial,” said von Brunn. “As a US naval officer I swore to protect my country. I take my vows very seriously.” Though he survived, von Brunn was badly wounded in the firefight—he can't walk and has trouble speaking and hearing. Prosecutors said von Brunn made funeral plans before the assault, and the judge agreed to order a mental competency exam.