WASHINGTON – White supremacist James von Brunn was indicted Wednesday in the deadly June 10 shooting of a Holocaust Museum guard.
The seven-count indictment charges von Brunn, 89, of killing Stephen Tyrone Johns at the museum in Washington, D.C. Four of the counts are punishable by death.
The FBI's Joseph Persichini Jr. and Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier issued a joint release announcing the federal jury's decision.
The indictment was handed up Wednesday in U.S. District Court, charging von Brunn with first-degree murder, killing in a federal building — both charges already lodged against him — and a new charge of bias-motivated crime.
The indictment accuses von Brunn of seeking to intimidate Jewish people at the museum.
Persichini said he believed the indictment will "send a message" to those who would try to turn hatred into violence.
"We knew what Mr. von Brunn had done, and we had to determine why, and I think this indictment shows exactly why, because of hate and prejudice," Persichini said. He said investigators tracked leads all over the country to build a case against von Brunn.
The case has sparked renewed calls for expanded hate crimes legislation.
Authorities say von Brunn walked up to the museum carrying a rifle and shot Johns, who was black, as the guard was opening the door for him.
Von Brunn was shot in the face by other guards but survived. He is still in the hospital.
Von Brunn had a racist, anti-Semitic Web site and wrote a book titled "Kill the Best Gentiles," alleging a Jewish conspiracy "to destroy the white gene pool." He also claimed the Holocaust was a hoax.
A hearing on von Brunn's case is scheduled for Thursday in U.S. District Court. So far he has not been well enough to appear in court and it was unclear whether he would be in the courtroom this week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.