June 10th, 2009
05:09 PM ET
5 years ago

White House reacts to Holocaust Museum shooting

As the Holocaust Memorial shooting was unfolding and during its aftermath, President Obama received regular updates through the White House Situation Room.
As the Holocaust Memorial shooting was unfolding and during its aftermath, President Obama received regular updates through the White House Situation Room.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As the Holocaust Memorial shooting was unfolding and during its aftermath, President Obama received regular updates through the White House Situation Room, according to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

"We're in contact with and get updates from [the] Homeland Security Council, and other agencies like the FBI," Gibbs added.

The president was first informed of the shooting by his spokesman prior to the daily briefing. At the time, details were sketchy, and the death of security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns had not yet been confirmed.

Gibbs said everyone is "saddened" by what has happened.

Just last week President Obama visited the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany, in what senior aides described as an extraordinarily powerful stop.

Related: Guard killed during museum shooting


Filed under: White House
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    The election of Barack Obama is not the end of racism.

    The real struggle against those who ignorantly cling to some mythical past "supremacy of the caucasian man" has just begun.

    Eight-eihgt years on Earth and the shooter didn't learn a darn thing about the only race: the human race.

    BTW: I wonder how much DNA matching the shooter has with Holocaust victims? Wouldn't it be a hoot if they DNA tested him and found ... OMG, he's Jewish!

    June 10, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  2. once upon a horse

    one of the GOP's talking points has always been that President Bush has kept us safe from terrorists since 911. Well that may be true from the overseas terrorists but what about the nutcases that exist here in our own country. I don't feel any safer from them and never will. Here you can be killed because of the color of your skin, if you served in the military, your sexual preferences, your belief about a women's right to choose and just in the past two weeks including today three Ameicans lost their lives in Kansas, Arkansas, and now DC at the hand of homebread terrorists and that's what all three of these accused shooters were. But then again the GOP pooh poohed that memo that came out a month or so about these things.

    June 10, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. Ummm

    I wonder how many republicans on here will start blaming Obama and us democrats for this? When it's probably one of their OWN republican nut jobs that went in there and started shooting...i mean, he is a supremist...isn't that the type of person who's usually a republican and pretty much sums up the type of people that were at the mccain/palin rallies....morons!

    June 10, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  4. Peter

    This is beyond awful....I am ashamed this happened....

    June 10, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. Dawn in Pa

    and you right wing stupidity. When Homeland Security warned about the right wing radicals that could come in from Canada; the Republicans started to scream bloody murder. First the Abortion Doctor was killed in his church, second, when a American-born Muslim radical killed our soldiers, now some radical shooting up the Holocaust Memorial.

    So Republican where is your apology to the United States people, telling them that Janet Napolitano was loosing her mind, calling for her to resign. Oh yeah Rep. Michelle Bachmann the Nutcase from Mn. she should be the first to apologize.

    The Jews have been placed into these camps and some never came home. Whether you are Jewish, Christian, Muslims or New age, please take some time to pray that this atrocities never happen again.

    June 10, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  6. nadine

    This neo-nazi, white supremist believes he has theright to take a gun (a rifle) into a museum and kill people because people like Sara Palin, Sean Hannity, Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, and Fox News, etc. are promoting this type of hate and violence. This is the end result of what hate speak does. With all these people pushing to get looser restrictions on gun laws and allowing anyone to carry a weapon, they seem to forget it's not just the gang bangers that you have to worry about. As long as the Palins and the Hannity's are allowed to continue their racist filled agendas and anti government forums with Fox News as their stage, we will see a surge in this type of hate crime and every death that results from this is on their hands.

    June 10, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. Zeb

    The audacity of hate! The only cure is education. This country needs to stop being so proudly ignorant. How can we influence race/ethnic relations abroad when we're still so backwards?

    June 10, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  8. Chris

    That is why the Republicans and rghtwingers need to stop the fear, hatred, and ugly rhetoric. This only breeds death and destruction.

    June 10, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  9. Mike

    If Obama can comment on this so fast....and he should.....why did it take so long for him to say anything when a soldier in uniform was gunned down by a terrorist in Little Rock?

    June 10, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  10. Lori reminds the GOP that in Florida's Governor's race, the Democrat is winning in the polls right now

    Sad day in America when an American kills out of hatred. First, the man who killed the abortion doctor and now this holocaust denying idiot that killed out of his hatred for Jews. Hey Republicans, I thought there weren't any white supremacists/right-wing nut jobs to be afraid of in this country (let's just ignore that memo that was blasted by the Republicans earlier this year). I forgot, to Republicans terrorists are only those brown Muslims not white people who share their same hatred towards blacks, hispanics and Jewish people.

    June 10, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  11. cbc

    It is time the right wing fringe – including talk radio people – who spew anger and venom day after day after day be held responsible for the hate crimes (including the murder of doctors) they inspire.

    June 10, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  12. Arizonian

    During his campaign, President Obama made a sensitive, sensible and honest speech about race in America. I very respectfully ask him to make another on hate in America. We all need to pay attention. Thank you.

    June 10, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. Buddy Gilmour

    Hardly seems a coincidence coming so close after the killing of Tiller. The overheated rhetoric of Rush, Rove, Steele, Voight, and numerous other opportunists is inciting some of the more feeble-minded religious fundamentalists to violence. We're going to have a period now where Jews, Moslems, abortion doctors, disk jockeys, and others with high visibility are targeted by these domestic terrorists. They need to be brought to justice by law enforcement, and those who encourage them over the airwaves should be subject to criminal prosecution under RICO and civil penalties.

    June 10, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  14. Melissa

    This is the kind of behavior that the right wing promotes. It has to stop.

    June 10, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  15. Toni

    While this a horrible and terrorist event, the question arises as to why other holocausts do not have museums. Many North & South American deny the slaughters and appropriate of properties of the indigenous peoples by the Europeans , exactly as the Holocaust deniers do.

    June 10, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  16. donttreadonme

    Just another thing that the liberals will use to hate everything Republican. How many republicans do you know are NEO-Nazis?

    Are you libs responsible for then for the plots in NY and the killing in AK.

    Tiller is a different story not crying one tear for him although it was wrong that he was killed.

    June 10, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  17. Blue

    What we cannot afford, no matter how justifiably angry we are about this horror and the ones that preceded it - we can't afford to hate the republicans any more than we can afford to hate anyone else. We need to prepare people to defend themselves and protect themselves against maniacs like this, while educating people that hatred is never the answer. No guard, MD, serviceman or even students at a university should be in danger just because someone is hatefilled or crazy or both... We need to figure out ways to keep guns out of the hands of hateful bastards. Unfortunately we also need to turn things like museums into armed camps... had it been any other museum, more people would have been killed. Fortunately, the guards there are armed, and they acted. Hate kills. We can't afford the luxury of hate, even if the ANGER is justified.

    Anger should lead to action, not rage - or we become no better than people like this 'man' who barely qualifies, in my opinion. A real man doesn't hurt people who are different from him, or who he disagrees with... He's a creep - would call him an animal, but animals mostly don't hate. Hopefully if he survives, he will never be free again.

    June 10, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  18. virginia for obama

    Sad . . . just Sad! This man lived 88 yrs hating GOD's creation (people ) instead of injoying life with family, friends and his grand and great – grandchildren. What a waist.

    June 10, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  19. J.P.

    Now now, liberals... Just like after 9/11, we need to ensure we're not stereotyping, and we need to ensure there is no vigilante justice perpetrated by liberals against conservatives.

    June 10, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  20. Doogie

    What? A shooting? In the USA? How many more times will you report the deaths of innocent people due to the need for gun possession?

    Do the sensible thing and amend gun laws – now!

    June 10, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  21. JT

    Shame on whoever is using this horrible incident as a political platform. There are people out there, regardless of ideology, that commit hate crimes. My prayers go out to the victim's family.

    June 10, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  22. Thomas

    Why should the White House have any "official" reaction?

    Are we going to look toward the White House any time someone commits a crime now?

    A scummy POS committed a crime. There are a lot of scummy POSs going to commit a lot of crimes. Not every crime deserves news coverage about what the White House thinks.

    How about letting the White House run the country and the Police handle the crimes?

    June 10, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  23. Jane

    Anyone who thinks this is related to the conservative points of view are dead wrong and just plain ignorant. Human beings develope views, ideologies, and hatred on their own. This guy was a sicko and had a warped mind. He started doing stupid and hate filled things in the late 1970's and 1980's. Palin, Hannity, Limbaugh, and whoever you want to name are not the blame they were not even in the news back in the day. If you truely care about today's issues you would not point fingers and try to "blame" conservatives for all the hate filled crimes. I am sick and tired of ignorant people spewing a bunch or garbage. And yes I am a democrat have been for 30 years. It is time for us to quit dividing our great nation and work together.

    June 10, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  24. JAY JOHN

    BOTH PARTIES ( REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS) ARE
    RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT HAPPENED .

    June 10, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  25. Yossi Gestetner

    Since one does a Prez get "constant updates" on a bias attack? I mean, please mister Gibs: Cut the Bull!

    June 10, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
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