Published June 15, 2009
WASHINGTON – The son of a white supremacist accused of killing a guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum said Monday the shooting was unforgivable and he wished his father had died instead.
Erik von Brunn told ABC's "Good Morning America" that he and his father James didn't like each other. The interview followed ABC's release Sunday of comments by the son that his father had long burdened their family with his white supremacist views and that James should have died in the attack.
"I loved my father. But what he did was unforgivable," Erik von Brunn, 32, said.
James von Brunn, 88, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 39-year-old Stephen T. Johns, who was black.
ABC played a short video of Johns' mother Jacqueline Carter reacting to Erik's statements about his father.
"I hope that in time his son will be able to forgive his dad and find some peace within his heart also," Carter said.
In response, Erik von Brunn told ABC, "Forgiveness is very difficult right now."
"You know, the only bond we had was father and son. We didn't like each other very much."
A federal judge is expected to hear a report on James von Brunn's health at a hearing later Monday in Washington.
Authorities say von Brunn was shot in the face when other museum guards returned fire. He remains hospitalized, and FBI officials have said he is likely to survive.
An FBI spokeswoman said the court has appointed a federal public defender to represent him.
Authorities say von Brunn shot the guard in the chest with a vintage rifle after Johns opened the door for him.