This afternoon the Smithsonian Institute tweeted about the death of a security guard at Washington D.C.’s Hirshhorn Museum from a self-inflicted wound. “Police are investigating death of @hirshhorn security guard by self-inflicted gunshot wound,” the message said. “The museum has been evacuated and closed.”
UPDATE: Smithsonian press secretary Linda St. Thomas confirmed to Architect Magazine that the apparent suicide took place in a non-public locker area. The Metropolitan Police Department was called about the shooting at 3:14pm.
A few minutes after the initial tweet the Smithsonian tweeted an update to reassure followers concerned for the safety of the museum’s visitors: “The incident occurred in a non-public area and no one else was injured.”
This is the second time a museum guard at a major American museum has been shot with their own weapon this year. In April, a guard at the Metropolitan Museum injured himself when his gun went off during a routine cleaning in the museum’s basement.
We’ll continue to update this post as more information comes in.
— Benjamin Sutton