[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/06/11/museum.shooting/art.museum.entrance.cnn.jpg caption="The entrance to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum where Wednesday's shooting took place."]
From its inception, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has regarded itself — and been regarded by others — as a high priority target, and for good reason. Though not a Jewish institution, but a government institution, it is one of the most visible institutions that reflect the prominence of American Jewry — its creators — and the most central American institution dealing with the Holocaust.
For the past 15 years, the museum has spent significant resources on security and held itself to the highest standards. Its security staff is very professional, very well trained and armed. Such professionalism and training showed itself today in the swiftness of their response. Lives were saved. There may have been as many as 2,000 people in the museum when the gunman entered. We deeply mourn the death of Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns, a six-year veteran of the museum’s security staff, and salute his colleagues for their immediate and effective response.
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