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Memorial Fund
Congress has created a memorial fund for
the families of the two slain U.S. Capitol Police officers.
Donations may be sent to the
U.S. Capitol Police Memorial Fund,
Washington, D.C. 20510.

Chestnut-Gibson Plaque - US Capitol Building



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Weston's Mental State Outlined In Court: April 1999


 
Jacob Joseph Chestnut
John Michael Gibson
United States Capitol Police Officers
Murder Charges Filed in Capitol Rampage
Sunday, July 26, 1998

Russell Eugene Weston Jr., a former mental patient from Montana, was charged yesterday with murdering two U.S. Capitol Police officers during a rampage in the Capitol building that allegedly began when Weston walked up behind an officer and shot him point-blank in the back of the head.

Law enforcement sources and court documents added chilling new details yesterday about the Friday afternoon killings of Jacob J. Chestnut, 58, and John M. Gibson, 42, both 18-year veterans of the force. They said that after bursting through a Capitol security checkpoint and shooting Chestnut, Weston chased a screaming woman down a hallway until he was confronted by Gibson, who pushed the woman out of harm's way and exchanged deadly gunfire with the intruder.

Weston, 41, slipped into unconsciousness and was downgraded early yesterday from stable to critical condition after surgery Friday at D.C. General Hospital. Doctors said he had a "50-50" chance of survival. He was ordered held without bond yesterday during a brief hearing in D.C. Superior Court.

An FBI agent's affidavit filed in court says Gibson and another officer -- identified by law enforcement sources as Douglas B. McMillan -- fired at Weston several times. Angela Dickerson, a 24-year-old employee of a Virginia furniture store, was wounded by stray gunfire. She was released yesterday from George Washington University Medical Center.

Meanwhile, official Washington paused yesterday to pay tribute to the pair of officers who died in service to their government, as the nation's leaders vowed that the domed symbol of American democracy would remain open and accessible to the public. The Capitol did reopen yesterday, with flags at half staff and the Capitol Police force guarding the doors as usual.

"I want to emphasize that this building is the keystone of freedom, that it is open to the people because it is the people's building," said House Speaker Newt Gingrich. "No terrorist, no deranged person, no act of violence will block us from preserving our freedom and keeping this building open to people from all over the world."

President Clinton yesterday praised the two men as heroes who "laid down their lives for their friends, their co-workers and their fellow citizens," and he reminded the country that 79 other law enforcement officers have been killed this year. "Every American should be grateful to them for the freedom and the security they guard with their lives," Clinton said.

Friday's incident has brought new attention to the tricky security balance between ensuring public access and protecting public officials, and several members of Congress said it demonstrated the need for a long-delayed $125 million visitor's center that could help security officers control access to the Capitol complex.

But most observers agreed there was little the Capitol Police could have done to stop a determined and apparently deranged gunman like Weston, who had complained to neighbors in Rimini, Mont., that the government was using a satellite dish to spy on him. He once accused his frail 86-year-old landlady of assault and battery, and allegedly harassed several county and state officials when they refused to press charges against her.

Weston spent the last several years in the Montana backwoods, living on disability benefits in a cabin 40 miles from the tiny shack where the reclusive Theodore Kaczynski built his bombs. In early 1996, law enforcement sources said, he was interviewed by the Secret Service about unusual comments he had made about President Clinton and delusional letters he had written about the federal government.

Weston was entered into the Secret Service's computer files as a potential low-level threat, but the agency did not contact other law enforcement agencies about Weston and had no further contact with him, the sources said. "The volume of people that the Secret Service checks out and never comes into contact with again is just unbelievable," one law enforcement official said.

In the fall of 1996, Montana officials said, a judge committed Weston to a state mental hospital for evaluation after he threatened a Helena resident. He was released after 52 days, when a medical team concluded that he no longer posed a danger. But on Thursday, after he reportedly shot his father's cats, he allegedly stole his father's old Smith & Wesson revolver and pointed his red Chevrolet pickup truck toward Washington.

In Valmeyer, Ill., the riverside town where Weston grew up, the Rev. Robin Keating read a statement from Weston's family yesterday apologizing profusely for the deaths of the officers. "It is with great sorrow that we speak today -- sorrow for the families that lost their loved ones, sorrow for the children that lost their daddies," the statement says. "Our apologies to the nation as a whole, for the trauma our son has caused."

An affidavit signed by FBI Special Agent Armin Showalter and filed in D.C. Superior Court yesterday recaps the horrifying moments after Weston allegedly walked into the Document Room Door on the House side of the Capitol at 3:40 p.m. Friday. Law enforcement sources said security videotapes that captured some of the incident provide vivid images of the grisly scene.

Chestnut was standing with his back toward a metal detector, writing some directions for a father and son who had just finished a tour of the Capitol, according to one law enforcement source who watched the videotape.

Weston allegedly walked through the detector, setting it off, then immediately pointed his gun at the back of Chestnut's head and shot before the officer had a chance to take action. Chestnut collapsed in front of the tourist and his 15-year-old son, who was soaked in the fallen officer's blood, according to the source.

"He was shot without warning," said Sgt. Dan Nichols, a Capitol Police spokesman.

As congressional aides and tourists scrambled for cover, Officer McMillan fired back at Weston, authorities said. Dickerson, a visitor who was standing nearby, was shot in the face and shoulder by a stray bullet, but officials said they have not determined who shot her.

"I don't really consider myself a hero," said McMillan, who was working near Chestnut's station Friday and said he witnessed his killing. He declined further comment.

Weston ran past them, following an unidentified female bystander who was running for cover toward a door that reads "Private Entrance" leading to the majority whip's suite. Inside, Gibson yelled for DeLay and his staff to take cover under desks and other furniture. DeLay yesterday said he and several staff members hid in his private bathroom and locked the door.

Before Gibson was able to draw his gun, the woman, with Weston behind her, appeared in the doorway. Gibson "pushed her away to safety," and Weston shot him once in the chest, Nichols said. Gibson then grabbed his own gun and shot Weston in the legs.

While the two men fired more shots at each other -- one witness said there were at least eight or 10 rounds -- the woman scrambled frantically in the hallway from closed door to closed door, pleading for someone to help her. Witnesses told police they heard her yelling, "Help! Help! Help!" but they were too afraid to open doors for her, sources said. Moments later, more Capitol Police officers arrived on the scene and arrested Weston, who had "additional ammunition" for his six-shot revolver in his pocket, according to the FBI affidavit.

"It was just a mess," one police source said. "Chestnut was executed, and Gibson saved everybody's lives in that office. If it wasn't for his fast thinking, I'd hate to think of what could have happened in that office."

A visibly moved DeLay met with reporters yesterday, recalling Chestnut as "a great man and a great patriot" and Gibson as "quite simply the finest man I've ever known." He said Chestnut, a father of five and a grandfather of five, was a Vietnam veteran who greeted everyone with a smile. He said Gibson, a Massachusetts native and Boston Bruins fan who worked as his personal security detail, had become a virtual member of his family.

"He tried to teach me hockey," DeLay said, his voice breaking. "I never did understand hockey."

Weston, who received CPR from Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and a D.C. paramedic shortly after the incident, has undergone surgery twice for gunshot wounds to the torso, buttocks and legs, and his surgeon, Paul Oriaifo, said he has a "50-50" chance of survival. Neither Weston nor the slain officers was wearing a bulletproof vest, law enforcement sources said.

Authorities charged Weston under a federal statute that covers cases in which federal law enforcement officers are slain during performance of their official duties. The case will be moved on Monday from the local court to federal court, which was closed yesterday. Attorney General Janet Reno has the option of seeking the death penalty, but a Justice Department spokeswoman said discussions of the question have not yet begun.

The last federal execution took place in 1963, although more than a dozen federal prisoners are on death row, including Timothy J. McVeigh, who was convicted in the April 1995 bombing of a federal office building in Oklahoma City. Prosecutors have been especially reluctant to seek the death penalty for federal offenses in the District, where voters overwhelmingly rejected a local version of the law in a 1992 referendum.

The Capitol Police force has worked almost round-the-clock on the investigation, along with officers from the FBI, D.C. police and other law enforcement agencies. The arrest warrant for Weston was signed at 2 a.m. yesterday, and federal agents executed a search warrant for Weston's shack yesterday afternoon. Other agents have been interviewing neighbors and family members in Illinois and Montana and more than 80 witnesses in Washington.

It has been a horrible two days for the 1,295-member Capitol force, which had had only one other casualty in its 170-year history, an accidental shooting death during a 1984 training exercise. A visibly exhausted Nichols said yesterday at a news conference that officers are taking solace in the support they have received from the public, and in the fact that they succeeded in protecting the members of Congress.

"It's been a trying couple of days for us," Nichols said as he choked back tears. "It's a difficult time, and the officers are going to rely on each other. . . . But the gunman didn't get very far into the building, and that was our intention."

Funerals for the officers have not been scheduled, but DeLay said members of Congress hope to honor them with a joint resolution tomorrow and a memorial service on Tuesday. Congress also has created a memorial fund for the families of the slain officers, and donations can be sent to the U.S. Capitol Police Memorial Fund, Washington, D.C. 20510.

Nichols also said the Capitol Police had received many requests from visitors wanting to know if they could leave flowers on the House steps in honor of the fallen officers.

They certainly could, he said. And yesterday, they did.

American Memory
U.S. Leaders Honor Officers 
Tuesday, July 28, 1998

In mournful tribute beneath the Capitol dome, President Clinton praised two slain police officers Tuesday as heroes whose sacrifice ``consecrated this house of freedom.'' Lawmakers and thousands of visitors joined in a daylong outpouring of sympathy. 

Jacob J. Chestnut and John Gibson, killed last Friday by a Capitol intruder, ``died in duty to the very freedom that all of us cherish,'' said House Speaker Newt Gingrich. 

The widows, children and other relatives of the slain men were seated for the memorial service, a few feet from the flag-draped coffins bearing the remains of their loved ones. All others in attendance stood. 

Customarily, only presidents, members of Congress and military commanders are permitted to lie in the Rotunda. Congress made an exception in the case of the two fallen officers, and by early morning, hundreds of people were in line outside the Capitol waiting to pay their respects. 

Some wept, some saluted, others simply stared at the caskets as the long line filed slowly up the Capitol steps and into the soaring Rotunda where the coffins rested. An honor guard, four Capitol Police officers in dress blue uniforms, stood somber watch. 

Joining the mourners were delegations of law enforcement officials from across the nation. 

Chestnut and Gibson were shot Friday afternoon when a gunman burst into the Capitol with a .38-caliber handgun. Chestnut was shot without warning, according to an account provided by officials, while Gibson and the gunman both fell following a furious exchange of gunfire at close range.

The suspect, Russell E. Weston Jr., 41, of Rimini, Mont., underwent surgery during the day for irrigation of his fractures. Hospital said he was in stable condition. 

Weston, who has a history of mental illness, has been charged with one count of killing federal officers, and faces a possible death penalty if convicted. 

A federal magistrate postponed Weston's initial appearance in court until Thursday in the hope that he will be well enough to make the trip then. 

The memorial service was unprecedented -- the nation's political leadership gathered in one of the most hallowed rooms in the land to mourn not a president or a general, but two men unknown outside their own communities. 

Standing in a room graced with images of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other famous Americans, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott said, ``Today we honor two men that should rightly be recognized in this hall of heroes. ... It's appropriate today that we honor these two men who did their job, who stood the ground and defended freedom.''

In his remarks at the brief ceremony, Clinton paid tribute to the ``quiet courage and uncommon bravery'' exhibited by Chestnut, Gibson and so many other police officers who are struck down in the line of duty. 

The two men killed last Friday, he said: ``in doing their duty they saved lives, they consecrated this house of freedom and they fulfilled our Lord's definition of a good life. They loved justice, they did mercy, now and forever, they walk humbly with their God.'' 

For the second straight day, the House canceled its legislative business out of respect for the two men who died while at their posts in the Capitol. 

``In our hearts and in our minds, their heroism can never be forgotten,'' said Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., one of several lawmakers to speak of the two men in the House during the day. 

``Who could ever imagine a shooting in the nation's Capitol, a shrine to liberty and justice for all,'' added Rep. Constance Morella, R-Md. 

Across the Capitol, Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., pinned a Capitol policeman's patch to his jacket -- a gift, he said, from Gibson a few weeks ago. 

The Rotunda was closed to the public for a while at midday to permit members of Congress to view the caskets. Gingrich, Democratic leader Dick Gephardt and House GOP Whip Tom DeLay, his wife and daughter formed a receiving line for fellow lawmakers. Gibson had served as DeLay's bodyguard. 

The scene in the Capitol's Rotunda was unprecedented as powerful lawmakers and tourists alike came to pay their respects to Chestnut and Gibson. 

First inside were Jeffrey Barrow, 13, and his father, Don, a locksmith from Atlanta, who had been in the Capitol Friday when the shooting broke out. 

``I wanted to come and pay respects,'' said the boy. ``I've been asking myself why would he want to kill them. They didn't do anything to him.'' 

Many uniformed police officers also filed past, some of them wiping away tears, as the long, hot day wore on. 

Chestnut, who was 58, and Gibson, 42, will be buried later in the week at Arlington National Cemetery.

American Memory
Slain Officers' Coffins to Lie in Capitol
Monday, July 27, 1998

The bodies of U.S. Capitol Police officers Jacob J. Chestnut and John M. Gibson will lie tomorrow in the majestic Rotunda of the building where they gave their lives, a farewell usually reserved for the nation's revered leaders. 

The two policemen slain Friday will lie at the Capitol Rotunda throughout the day, an unprecedented honor for the men who died defending tourists and elected representatives. The public will be admitted to pay tribute to the officers from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m., except for a brief period beginning at 3 p.m. when members of the Capitol Police, the officers' families and Congress will attend a private ceremony. President Clinton and Vice President Gore also plan to attend. 

Yesterday, the private and public families shattered by the violence struggled slowly to deal with the aftermath of Friday's violence. Also yesterday, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Gary L. Abrecht offered his first public comments; authorities continued to search for clues to the suspect's possible motive; and visitors to the Capitol placed still more flowers on the steps as an expression of their grief. 

Meanwhile, Russell Eugene Weston Jr., 41, charged with killing the two officers when he burst into the Capitol on a languid Friday afternoon, was upgraded from critical condition to serious condition by officials at D.C. General Hospital. 

Weston, a drifter with unusual suspicions, barged through a metal detector Friday and allegedly executed Chestnut, 58, without warning, and then killed Gibson, 42, in a gunfight. 

Law enforcement sources said yesterday that Weston emptied his six-chamber .38-caliber Smith & Wesson pistol; in return, he was wounded in the torso, arms, buttocks and thigh. 

Weston is under arrest, held without bond on two federal murder charges, as he lies under heavy guard in the locked ward of the hospital. Charges against him, filed Saturday in D.C. Superior Court, likely will be transferred today to U.S. District Court. The federal court was closed on Saturday, so prosecutors secured an order in D.C. Superior Court to keep Weston in custody. 

Law enforcement sources said the prosecution team already is bracing for a possible insanity defense or claim of incompetency, as new details emerged of Weston's behavioral history, including a 1996 visit by Weston to Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in which he claimed he was a clone and President John F. Kennedy's son. 

Congress is expected to reconvene today with a tribute to the officers. Both houses are to approve the public viewing of the officers' caskets in the Rotunda, an honor until now afforded only 27 people in the nation's history. Four were unknown soldiers; all the others were presidents, generals, members of Congress or other dignitaries.

Separate funerals for the men are set for Thursday and Friday, each including a motorcade past the Capitol. 

"My thoughts and prayers go out to the families," said Abrecht, who has met privately with the families. "They were in a great state of grief." 

The police chief said Gibson will be buried on Thursday in Lake Ridge. Chestnut, an Air Force veteran, will be interred the following day at Arlington National Cemetery. 

Abrecht said his review of the incident convinced him "our people did exactly what they should have done. They were heroic in every way." Abrecht, speaking later at a brief news conference outside the Capitol, called his two officers "fallen heroes" and said he could not comprehend how their families were dealing with their deaths with such grace. 

Abrecht recounted how, after the shootings, his own teenage daughter "came running up to me and threw her arms around me" in a scene he thought was being repeated in police families all across the nation. 

"The past few days have been an extremely trying time for the United States Capitol Police," Abrecht said. "From the expressions of sympathy which have been pouring in to our department, it is evident that our loss and feelings of sadness are being shared by the United States Congress and the American public." 

In a separate interview, Abrecht recalled that he would often "stop and chat with Chestnut; he was a wonderful, quiet professional police officer. He was steady and unruffleable." Abrecht said Chestnut had a "friendly but firm manner. He was excellent with the public." 

Jonathan L. Arden, chief medical examiner of the District, said yesterday that autopsies of the two officers Friday night showed that "neither one of them had any significant chance of being able to survive his wounds." 

"Unfortunately, there are some wounds that simply are not survivable," Arden said. He said Chestnut died of a gunshot wound to the head that penetrated the brain, and Gibson died from a wound to the abdomen with penetration of his aorta. 

It is unclear whether Chestnut ever confronted his killer. According to law enforcement sources who have watched a security camera videotape, Chestnut was standing with his back to the metal detector, writing directions for a father and son, when Weston strode through the metal detector and immediately shot Chestnut in the back of the head. 

Tourist Angela Dickerson, 24, who was escorting relatives on a Capitol tour Friday, also suffered gunshot wounds during the incident. She was discharged from the hospital Saturday. 

A note saying "No Soliciting Please!" was taped to the front door of Dickerson's family home in Chantilly yesterday. Knocks at the door and calls to the home went unanswered. 

Liz Lapham, 44, a neighbor who said she had spoken to Dickerson's father, said that he told her his daughter was "going to be okay. She's just really exhausted and resting," Lapham said. Dickerson, an interior designer, has been married for a year, Lapham said.

"It's really a tragedy that she was where she was," Lapham said. "They're overwhelmed by it." 

Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies continued to study Weston's life, seeking to understand what may have driven a man considered a harmless nut by neighbors in Illinois and Montana to such bloodshed. 

Several hundred law enforcement officers are now working on the case in Illinois, Montana and Washington. Sources said they have executed search warrants at his parents' home in Valmeyer, Ill., and his shack in Rimini, Mont., an old mining community about 20 miles southwest of the state capital of Helena. They popped open the door to his mountain shack with a crowbar attached to a cable and sent in a remote-control robot to protect themselves from any possible booby traps. None was found.

They also found magazines and a stack of papers with Weston's diaries and other writings in the red Chevrolet pickup truck the suspect drove from Valmeyer to Washington on Thursday night, the sources said. 

A top-ranking law enforcement source said agents searching the home of Weston's parents in Illinois were looking for writings in a sealed container that might show motive or premeditation. 

Weston had come to official notice several times. Citing state laws protecting the confidentiality of medical records, an official at the Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs declined to discuss the specifics of Weston's treatment at the psychiatric facility during a 53-day stay in late 1996. A court ordered what is known as an involuntary civil commitment for Weston because of repeated threats against Jefferson County law enforcement authorities stemming from a dispute he had with his elderly landlady in 1983. 

Weston was discharged from the state hospital on Dec. 2, 1996, and arrangements were made to allow him to prepare his cabin in Rimini for winter and then return to the supervision of his parents in Waterloo, Ill. 

In an interview yesterday at their home, Weston's parents said their son was diagnosed a decade ago as a paranoid schizophrenic.

"I don't know what you can do about someone like that," a source at a federal agency said. "If the doctors thought he was okay, how can anyone else predict he'll go off?" 

Law enforcement sources also were studing the details of Weston's visit on July 29, 1996, to the Langley headquarters of the CIA. 

According to a source familiar with a memorandum on the incident, Weston drove up to the main CIA gate off Route 123 and said he had information to report. The source said Weston "rambled on for several hours" to a security officer, explaining that he was the son of Kennedy, that he had been cloned at birth, that Clinton was a clone, that everyone was a clone. He also claimed that Clinton was responsible for the Kennedy assassination because Kennedy had stolen Clinton's girlfriend, Marilyn Monroe. 

"He was clearly delusional, but he didn't make any threats," the source said. "If he had, we would have arrested him. But it was just, 'I'm a clone, Clinton's a clone, all God's children are clones.' He told a bunch of wild stories and drove off into the sunset." 

Weston, who has told his neighbors he believes the government is watching him through satellite dishes, also told the security officer he received "special presidential programming through interactive television and radio." 

Weston ended his visit by informing the officer that he would "report back in 10 or 15 years." He later sent two letters to the CIA. 

The first letter, which was typed, informed the agency that "as timing reverse becomes more aphonic," he thought he should join the CIA. The second letter, which was handwritten and sent in May, complained that someone had stolen a time device that he had invented. It was signed: "Brigidier General Russell E. Weston."

Weston's previous actions could present difficulties for government prosecutors, who have charged him with two counts of murdering federal officers in the performance of their duties, charges that could carry the death penalty. 

If Weston's attorneys question his competency to stand trial, a judge would have to find that he understands the nature of the proceedings and can assist in his own defense before the prosecution could proceed. 

If Weston goes to trial, his attorneys might employ an insanity defense – that is, argue that he was not sane at the time of the attack and therefore did not know the wrongfulness of his actions.

"I know that if I were Weston's lawyer, I'd be thinking about an insanity defense," one law enforcement official said. "Clearly, it looks like that's what we're up against. ... But there's a big difference between 'crazy' in the vernacular and 'crazy' in the legal sense." 

Weston's past activities and his alleged involvement in the Capitol shootings also have raised anew questions about how federal agencies determine what they consider dangerous behavior, and what they can do about it.

The Secret Service had a routine interview with Weston in the spring of 1996, after learning about comments and letters he had written about Clinton and the federal government. But the agency classified him as a "low-level threat" and did not notify other agencies, although it did keep his name on file. The CIA source said his agency briefed the Secret Service again after Weston's visit to Langley, but neither agency took any action. 

"Obviously, this guy has problems, but lots of people have problems," one federal law enforcement source said yesterday. "Everyone has a constitutional right to be crazy."

The CIA official also said his agency's options were limited in dealing with a delusional but non-threatening individual: "It's not unusual to have strange people show up at our gate. We treat it seriously, but there's only so much you can do if laws aren't broken."

In their investigation of Friday's fatal gun battle, authorities have interviewed more than 80 witnesses in Washington, and believe more than 20 of them will be able to help them reconstruct the crime in court, sources said. They said authorities also plan to interview John Broder, a New York Times reporter who said he was approached by a man resembling Weston in Lafayette Square the morning of the shootings. According to the Times, the man pointed at the White House and said: "Millions of people are going to die because of the people you put in that house."

As authorities concentrated on the official investigation of the shootings, many people seemed drawn to the scene of the crime to leave their own personal tributes. 

On the marble Capitol steps, a makeshift shrine of flowers and bouquets grew through the day, even as sightseers returned to wait in line for a tour of the Capitol. 

A child-drawn picture with the note "Peace on Earth" addressed a message to the officers: "Thank you for being there and protecting so many." 

Jeanne Gross, 68, came from Germantown with her friend Genevieve Dunbar, 74, to deliver flowers to the Capitol because "it's sad that they have to give up their lives for someone so demented. They have wives, children, left alone." 

Barbara Rackle, 55, of Gaithersburg, said, "I had to come. This is our heritage," pointing toward the American flag that whipped, in the stiff breeze, at half-staff above the Capitol. "Our liberty is so costly. Things like this do happen, but I just couldn't believe it would happen here, in our Capitol." 

Ambigapathy Ramji, a 23-year-old tourist from Geneva, said he was overwhelmed with shock when he heard of Friday's shooting and felt compelled to pay tribute to the slain officers by visiting the steps of the Capitol. 

"It's very troubling," Ramji said. "No one thought something like this could happen." 

American Memory
Officers to Lie in Capitol As Congress Pays Homage Weston's Condition Improves; Insanity Defense Expected
Monday, July 27, 1998

The bodies of U.S. Capitol Police officers Jacob J. Chestnut and John M. Gibson will lie tomorrow in the majestic Rotunda of the building where they gave their lives, a farewell usually reserved for the nation's revered leaders.

The two policemen slain Friday will lie at the Capitol Rotunda throughout the day, an unprecedented honor for the men who died defending tourists and elected representatives. The public will be admitted to pay tribute to the officers from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m., except for a brief period beginning at 3 p.m. when members of the Capitol Police, the officers' families and Congress will attend a private ceremony. President Clinton and Vice President Gore also plan to attend.

Yesterday, the private and public families shattered by the violence struggled slowly to deal with the aftermath of Friday's violence. Also yesterday, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Gary L. Abrecht offered his first public comments; authorities continued to search for clues to the suspect's possible motive; and visitors to the Capitol placed still more flowers on the steps as an expression of their grief.

Meanwhile, Russell Eugene Weston Jr., 41, charged with killing the two officers when he burst into the Capitol on a languid Friday afternoon, was upgraded from critical condition to serious condition by officials at D.C. General Hospital.

Weston, a drifter with unusual suspicions, barged through a metal detector Friday and allegedly executed Chestnut, 58, without warning, and then killed Gibson, 42, in a gunfight.

Law enforcement sources said yesterday that Weston emptied his six-chamber .38-caliber Smith & Wesson pistol; in return, he was wounded in the torso, arms, buttocks and thigh.

Weston is under arrest, held without bond on two federal murder charges, as he lies under heavy guard in the locked ward of the hospital. Charges against him, filed Saturday in D.C. Superior Court, likely will be transferred today to U.S. District Court. The federal court was closed on Saturday, so prosecutors secured an order in D.C. Superior Court to keep Weston in custody.

Law enforcement sources said the prosecution team already is bracing for a possible insanity defense or claim of incompetency, as new details emerged of Weston's behavioral history, including a 1996 visit by Weston to Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in which he claimed he was a clone and President John F. Kennedy's son.

Congress is expected to reconvene today with a tribute to the officers. Both houses are to approve the public viewing of the officers' caskets in the Rotunda, an honor until now afforded only 27 people in the nation's history. Four were unknown soldiers; all the others were presidents, generals, members of Congress or other dignitaries.

Separate funerals for the men are set for Thursday and Friday, each including a motorcade past the Capitol.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to the families," said Abrecht, who has met privately with the families. "They were in a great state of grief."

The police chief said Gibson will be buried on Thursday in Lake Ridge. Chestnut, an Air Force veteran, will be interred the following day at Arlington National Cemetery.

Abrecht said his review of the incident convinced him "our people did exactly what they should have done. They were heroic in every way." Abrecht, speaking later at a brief news conference outside the Capitol, called his two officers "fallen heroes" and said he could not comprehend how their families were dealing with their deaths with such grace.

Abrecht recounted how, after the shootings, his own teenage daughter "came running up to me and threw her arms around me" in a scene he thought was being repeated in police families all across the nation.

"The past few days have been an extremely trying time for the United States Capitol Police," Abrecht said. "From the expressions of sympathy which have been pouring in to our department, it is evident that our loss and feelings of sadness are being shared by the United States Congress and the American public."

In a separate interview, Abrecht recalled that he would often "stop and chat with Chestnut; he was a wonderful, quiet professional police officer. He was steady and unruffleable." Abrecht said Chestnut had a "friendly but firm manner. He was excellent with the public."

Jonathan L. Arden, chief medical examiner of the District, said yesterday that autopsies of the two officers Friday night showed that "neither one of them had any significant chance of being able to survive his wounds."

"Unfortunately, there are some wounds that simply are not survivable," Arden said. He said Chestnut died of a gunshot wound to the head that penetrated the brain, and Gibson died from a wound to the abdomen with penetration of his aorta.

It is unclear whether Chestnut ever confronted his killer. According to law enforcement sources who have watched a security camera videotape, Chestnut was standing with his back to the metal detector, writing directions for a father and son, when Weston strode through the metal detector and immediately shot Chestnut in the back of the head.

Tourist Angela Dickerson, 24, who was escorting relatives on a Capitol tour Friday, also suffered gunshot wounds during the incident. She was discharged from the hospital Saturday.

A note saying "No Soliciting Please!" was taped to the front door of Dickerson's family home in Chantilly yesterday. Knocks at the door and calls to the home went unanswered.

Liz Lapham, 44, a neighbor who said she had spoken to Dickerson's father, said that he told her his daughter was "going to be okay. She's just really exhausted and resting," Lapham said. Dickerson, an interior designer, has been married for a year, Lapham said.

"It's really a tragedy that she was where she was," Lapham said. "They're overwhelmed by it."

Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies continued to study Weston's life, seeking to understand what may have driven a man considered a harmless nut by neighbors in Illinois and Montana to such bloodshed.

Several hundred law enforcement officers are now working on the case in Illinois, Montana and Washington. Sources said they have executed search warrants at his parents' home in Valmeyer, Ill., and his shack in Rimini, Mont., an old mining community about 20 miles southwest of the state capital of Helena. They popped open the door to his mountain shack with a crowbar attached to a cable and sent in a remote-control robot to protect themselves from any possible booby traps. None was found.

They also found magazines and a stack of papers with Weston's diaries and other writings in the red Chevrolet pickup truck the suspect drove from Valmeyer to Washington on Thursday night, the sources said.

A top-ranking law enforcement source said agents searching the home of Weston's parents in Illinois were looking for writings in a sealed container that might show motive or premeditation.

Weston had come to official notice several times. Citing state laws protecting the confidentiality of medical records, an official at the Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs declined to discuss the specifics of Weston's treatment at the psychiatric facility during a 53-day stay in late 1996. A court ordered what is known as an involuntary civil commitment for Weston because of repeated threats against Jefferson County law enforcement authorities stemming from a dispute he had with his elderly landlady in 1983.

Weston was discharged from the state hospital on Dec. 2, 1996, and arrangements were made to allow him to prepare his cabin in Rimini for winter and then return to the supervision of his parents in Waterloo, Ill.

In an interview yesterday at their home, Weston's parents said their son was diagnosed a decade ago as a paranoid schizophrenic.

"I don't know what you can do about someone like that," a source at a federal agency said. "If the doctors thought he was okay, how can anyone else predict he'll go off?"

Law enforcement sources also were studing the details of Weston's visit on July 29, 1996, to the Langley headquarters of the CIA.

According to a source familiar with a memorandum on the incident, Weston drove up to the main CIA gate off Route 123 and said he had information to report. The source said Weston "rambled on for several hours" to a security officer, explaining that he was the son of Kennedy, that he had been cloned at birth, that Clinton was a clone, that everyone was a clone. He also claimed that Clinton was responsible for the Kennedy assassination because Kennedy had stolen Clinton's girlfriend, Marilyn Monroe.

"He was clearly delusional, but he didn't make any threats," the source said. "If he had, we would have arrested him. But it was just, 'I'm a clone, Clinton's a clone, all God's children are clones.' He told a bunch of wild stories and drove off into the sunset."

Weston, who has told his neighbors he believes the government is watching him through satellite dishes, also told the security officer he received "special presidential programming through interactive television and radio."

Weston ended his visit by informing the officer that he would "report back in 10 or 15 years." He later sent two letters to the CIA. 

The first letter, which was typed, informed the agency that "as timing reverse becomes more aphonic," he thought he should join the CIA. The second letter, which was handwritten and sent in May, complained that someone had stolen a time device that he had invented. It was signed: "Brigidier General Russell E. Weston."

Weston's previous actions could present difficulties for government prosecutors, who have charged him with two counts of murdering federal officers in the performance of their duties, charges that could carry the death penalty.

If Weston's attorneys question his competency to stand trial, a judge would have to find that he understands the nature of the proceedings and can assist in his own defense before the prosecution could proceed. 

If Weston goes to trial, his attorneys might employ an insanity defense -- that is, argue that he was not sane at the time of the attack and therefore did not know the wrongfulness of his actions.

"I know that if I were Weston's lawyer, I'd be thinking about an insanity defense," one law enforcement official said. "Clearly, it looks like that's what we're up against. . . . But there's a big difference between 'crazy' in the vernacular and 'crazy' in the legal sense."

Weston's past activities and his alleged involvement in the Capitol shootings also have raised anew questions about how federal agencies determine what they consider dangerous behavior, and what they can do about it.

The Secret Service had a routine interview with Weston in the spring of 1996, after learning about comments and letters he had written about Clinton and the federal government. But the agency classified him as a "low-level threat" and did not notify other agencies, although it did keep his name on file. The CIA source said his agency briefed the Secret Service again after Weston's visit to Langley, but neither agency took any action.

"Obviously, this guy has problems, but lots of people have problems," one federal law enforcement source said yesterday. "Everyone has a constitutional right to be crazy."

The CIA official also said his agency's options were limited in dealing with a delusional but non-threatening individual: "It's not unusual to have strange people show up at our gate. We treat it seriously, but there's only so much you can do if laws aren't broken."

In their investigation of Friday's fatal gun battle, authorities have interviewed more than 80 witnesses in Washington, and believe more than 20 of them will be able to help them reconstruct the crime in court, sources said. They said authorities also plan to interview John Broder, a New York Times reporter who said he was approached by a man resembling Weston in Lafayette Square the morning of the shootings. According to the Times, the man pointed at the White House and said: "Millions of people are going to die because of the people you put in that house."

As authorities concentrated on the official investigation of the shootings, many people seemed drawn to the scene of the crime to leave their own personal tributes.

On the marble Capitol steps, a makeshift shrine of flowers and bouquets grew through the day, even as sightseers returned to wait in line for a tour of the Capitol. 

A child-drawn picture with the note "Peace on Earth" addressed a message to the officers: "Thank you for being there and protecting so many."

Jeanne Gross, 68, came from Germantown with her friend Genevieve Dunbar, 74, to deliver flowers to the Capitol because "it's sad that they have to give up their lives for someone so demented. They have wives, children, left alone."

Barbara Rackle, 55, of Gaithersburg, said, "I had to come. This is our heritage," pointing toward the American flag that whipped, in the stiff breeze, at half-staff above the Capitol. "Our liberty is so costly. Things like this do happen, but I just couldn't believe it would happen here, in our Capitol."

Ambigapathy Ramji, a 23-year-old tourist from Geneva, said he was overwhelmed with shock when he heard of Friday's shooting and felt compelled to pay tribute to the slain officers by visiting the steps of the Capitol.

"It's very troubling," Ramji said. "No one thought something like this could happen."

Staff writers Ceci Connolly, Maria Elena Fernandez, Steven Gray, Nancy Lewis, Bill Miller and Linda Wheeler in Washington, Patricia Davis in Chantilly and Tom Kenworthy in Helena contributed to this report.

American Memory
Thousands Honor Slain Officers at Capitol 
Tuesday, July 28, 1998

Thousands lined the outside of the U.S. Capitol today, waiting to pay tribute to slain U.S. Capitol Police officers Jacob J. Chestnut and John M. Gibson.

By late morning, the crowd to enter the public viewing in the Capitol Rotunda wound down First St. SE to Independence Avenue. 

Several hundred remained in line at noon as a hazy sun baked the scene and police temporarily closed the tribute for a viewing by members of Congress. President Clinton, Vice President Gore and others will speak during a 3 p.m. private ceremony and the site should be re-opened to the public from 4 to 7 p.m.

The Capitol parking lot was crowded with mourners, media and tourists, some who were unaware of what they were watching. Some came from their offices. Others interrupted their vacations. But most of those who journeyed to the scene did so to see history and honor heroism.

''There’s just something pulling us,'' said Brenda Jones, a Newburg, Charles County, resident who had never before been to the Capitol. ''We just had to go.'' 

Derek Hamm walked two blocks from his home. He calls the U.S. Capitol Police his neighborhood police. 

"It was a little too close to home," said Hamm, 41, of the Friday afternoon shooting. 

He joined the line at 7:45 a.m. when it was more than 200 people deep and reached from the Capitol parking lot to First St., SE. An hour later he climbed the 35 steps to the East entrance, past the growing pile of bouquets and floral arrangements at the foot of the Capitol. 

Inside, four officers in full dress uniform stood like statues around the flag-draped coffins. The crowd inched along the outside of the maroon ropes. Many wore solemn stares and clasped their hands. A few carried tissues. 

They did not fit into any one category: an elderly woman using a walker; behind her, a couple in jeans with four young children; following them, three professionals in business suits. Many wore stickers of support distributed by the Capitol police and signed a comment book for the slain officers’ families. 

One floor below the room buzzed like any summer day, with tourists eyeing exhibits of Capitol history. But there were plenty of signs that this was no typical day. 

A black velvet sash draped the doorway of Majority Whip Thomas DeLay (R-Texas) where Gibson was shot. The Document Room entrance, where the shooting began, was closed. 

Some staffers walked the halls with blue ribbons pinned to their lapels. Outside the Credit Union office, photos of the slain officers sat on an easel. On the Capitol lawn, bagpipes prepared for the afternoon ceremonies. Police officers gathered from departments in Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. 

The line to enter the building stayed steady most of the morning. The doors were to open at 8 a.m., but were delayed when police found a suspicious package on a motorized cart used by Capitol staff. The package was determined not to be dangerous, but added to the tension. 

"This is a difficult day and everyone is on edge," said U.S. Capitol Police spokesman Dan Nichols. 

Bob Mills saw Gibson about once a week last year, when Mills managed DeLay’s re-election campaign. Today, Mills stood in line to see Mills one last time. 

Mills remembers talking with the officer last year about the risks of his job. Gibson said he knew he was trained and qualified to handle a challenge like the one that faced him Friday. 

''I can certainly say that not only did he meet that challenge, but he far exceeded that,'' Mills said, ''by protecting the lives of the people in that office first, and then still having the courage, the bravery and the foresight to stop the attacker.''

Dave Adamson, a special education director from Salt Lake City, Utah, watched the events this morning from the Capitol lawn. His wife and three sons were back at the hotel sleeping before their long trip home today. Adamson didn't know the officers, has no connection to law enforcement and has never been the victim of a serious crime. 

But it was just a week ago, as he and his family arrived in D.C., that he was talking to his three sons about the extraordinary security required to guard the nation’s treasures. 

And it was just six days ago that he and his family walked through the same door that suspect Russell Eugene Weston Jr. entered last Friday. Adamson came this morning to witness the tribute, the history. He did not think his sons should see it. 

"I brought them to the nation's capital to see the best of what we have to offer," he said. "I appreciate the honor of these officers and what they did, but I would not call that [the incident] the best of what we have to offer."

American  Memory
Funeral Processions Likely to Snarl Traffic
Thursday, July 30, 1998

Today's funeral procession for slain U.S. Capitol Police Detective John M. Gibson will be at least 12 miles long as it travels a 35-mile route from Prince William County to Arlington National Cemetery, and motorists should expect traffic tie-ups for much of the day, police said.

The cortege will start at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Prince William's Lake Ridge section, after Gibson's funeral at the church at 10 a.m., then proceed up Shirley Highway to the U.S. Capitol and along the Mall, reaching the cemetery in the early afternoon. Dozens of extra police officers have been called in to deal with expected traffic snarls on adjacent roads.

About 1,000 police cruisers will take part in the procession, and there may be hundreds more cars driven by civilians, said Kim Chinn, a spokeswoman for the Prince William police. Four Metro buses will carry U.S. lawmakers and Capitol Hill police officers and staff members, according to a Metro spokeswoman.

Similar tie-ups will occur tomorrow, when Gibson's colleague, Officer Jacob J. Chestnut, is buried at Arlington. Chestnut's funeral procession will leave from Fort Washington, after a 10 a.m. service at Ebenezer AME Church, then move along Allentown Road, Indian Head Highway and Interstate 295 before reaching the District.

Prince George's County police are asking drivers to stay off Allentown Road this afternoon and evening during a viewing for Chestnut at the church, at 7707 Allentown Rd. in Fort Washington, and again tomorrow morning before and after the funeral.

People "should keep all of this in mind when they make travel plans," said Virginia State Police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell. "They should make other arrangements if possible. . . . But due to the solemnity of the occasion, I don't think people will be complaining, either."

To help mourners make their way to Seton Church this morning for Gibson's funeral, police will direct traffic at the Route 123 exits from Interstate 95, starting at 8 a.m., and also will be at every intersection along the five-mile route to the church, Chinn said.

Officials will close Shirley Highway's 35 miles of car-pool lanes to all traffic at 10 a.m., reserving them for the funeral procession. The lanes are expected to reopen for southbound traffic about 12:30 p.m., as they normally would, officials said.

When the procession reaches the District and moves along Independence Avenue to the Capitol and then along Constitution Avenue to Arlington Memorial Bridge, traffic on cross streets will be blocked along the route, according to U.S. Park Police.

Officials estimated that the church service will end at 11 a.m. and that the burial at Arlington will take place about 12:30 p.m. But they were not sure about those times, and there also was uncertainty about how long the procession will be and its ultimate effect on area traffic.

"The big question mark is how big is the procession going to be. That's going to drive in large part how many traffic problems there are," said Steve Kuciemba, who runs the Smart Travel traffic information service for the region. "We're going to tell people to avoid the area."

Prince William police base their estimate of a 12-mile-long procession on the funeral three years ago of William H. Christian Jr., an FBI agent slain during a stakeout.

About 2,000 mourners attended his funeral, also at Seton Church, and southbound I-95 was blocked for a half-hour to allow the procession to go the 12 miles to Quantico National Cemetery. According to Chinn, the first car arrived at the cemetery as the last one was leaving the church.

"This funeral could draw three times as many people," Chinn said. "We've had police units from Texas and even from England call to say they are coming. We really don't know exactly how many people will be here."

Officials at Arlington Cemetery said they are planning for a procession that is about four miles long. There is no parking lot in the cemetery, and mourners will have to park along the roadways.

"A lot of people will want to pay their respects," said Dov Schwartz, a spokesman for the Military District of Washington. "Getting close to the grave will be difficult."

American Memory
Paying Respects to Slain Police Officers 
Thursday, July 30, 1998

The nation's week-long public mourning over the slayings of two U.S. Capitol Police officers turned to private sorrow yesterday in a quiet church 25 miles south of Washington, as family, friends, colleagues and neighbors of slain Detective John M. Gibson remembered him in silent prayer and hushed words of comfort. 

Thirty-one police motorcycles lined the entrance to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in the Prince William County community of Lake Ridge as a two-hour afternoon viewing began. Dozens of officers lingered inside the vestibule of the sunlit church, where Gibson's body, dressed in his dark-blue dress uniform, lay in an open casket beneath a large crucifix, flanked by a two-man police honor guard. 

His family, led by his widow, Evelyn, and three teenage children, filled the first six pews on one side of the sanctuary. On the other side, a line of mourners 30 deep at times slowly streamed down the side aisle, people pausing to kneel and say a prayer or lightly touch the dark-wood casket before moving on to say a few words of condolence.

"Thank you, thank you," Evelyn Gibson said quietly as one mourner after another stooped to take her hand, brush her shoulder or offer an embrace. Kristen Gibson, 17, the couple's oldest child, stood and hugged several friends and classmates from nearby Woodbridge High School as they came through the receiving line. 

The Gibson family arrived at the church about 1 p.m., an hour before the public viewing began. A few minutes later, a second motorcade pulled up to the red-brick building and the widow and children of Officer Jacob J. Chestnut got out. They were met at the church door by the Rev. Daniel Hamilton, pastor of the Lake Ridge parish, and escorted inside, where they spent about 30 minutes with the Gibsons. 

The two families met for the first time earlier this week and resolved to help one another get through the shattering ordeal that now connects them, Hamilton said. 

Chestnut and Gibson were killed Friday when a gunman burst past a security checkpoint on the Capitol's first floor and opened fire with a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson. In the frenzy that followed, a female bystander and the suspect, Russell Eugene Weston Jr., also were wounded by gunfire. 

Gibson, 42, and Chestnut, 58, were both 18-year veterans of the U.S. Capitol Police force, but the two men's families did not meet until Tuesday's nationally televised memorial ceremony in the Rotunda of the Capitol that was attended by President Clinton, House Speaker Newt Gingrich and many other dignitaries. 

Hamilton described the families' initial meeting as "a very powerful moment" and said they decided then that they would "go through this together," each attending the other officer's wake and funeral as a way to support one another. 

"That's a tremendous statement," the priest said, "that these two families, united in a grief-stricken moment, are helping one another." 

Chestnut's viewing will be from 6 to 9 p.m. today at Ebenezer AME Church on Allentown Road in Fort Washington, where his funeral is due to begin at 10 a.m. tomorrow, with burial afterward at Arlington National Cemetery. 

Gibson's funeral will be at 10 this morning at Seton Church, with interment also at Arlington. Prince William County police, advised that law enforcement officers are coming from across the nation to pay tribute to the two slain officers, are bracing for one of the biggest motorcades in recent memory. Gibson's funeral cortege will travel up Shirley Highway's car-pool lanes, cross the 14th Street Bridge and then go up Independence Avenue before sweeping past the Capitol and down Constitution Avenue. It then will continue across Memorial Bridge to the cemetery. 

Chestnut was an Air Force veteran and automatically entitled to burial at Arlington. Gibson, a native of Waltham, Mass., who did not serve in the military, will be buried in the nation's most hallowed military cemetery under special permission from Congress. Mourners outside Seton Church yesterday said it was a fitting tribute to a man who gave his life defending others. 

"He was really a great street cop. He loved being a policeman . . . and he had the proper instinct to do the right thing," said Henry Gallagher, of Chantilly, who recently retired after 25 years with the U.S. Capitol Police. Gibson came to his retirement party, Gallagher recalled yesterday, adding, "I'll miss him a lot."

Gallagher was accompanied to the church by his son, Drew, 25, who joined the Capitol Police last year and stood tall yesterday in his smartly pressed uniform. "It's in the blood," the young man said, describing how he always wanted to follow his father into the fraternity. 

Now that he's there, he said, "it's very upsetting" to lose a brother officer. "You never think it's going to be your department, but it's a fact of life . . . and, unfortunately, it's part of the job," he said. 

Capitol Police Detective Kim Rendon, who knew both slain officers, said their loss has hit the 1,295-member department very hard, "but having the support of each other and knowing how the whole world feels has helped." 

Hamilton, the priest, said yesterday that the Gibson family is coping "as best as can be expected. When you lose a father and you lose a husband, it's very difficult." 

Barbara Causseaux, a teacher at Lake Ridge Elementary, where Evelyn Gibson is a school crossing guard, said her heart "just broke" for the couple's children: Kristen and her two younger brothers, Daniel 14, and Jack, 15. 

"We feel like this is part of our family that has a terrible hurt," Causseaux said, expressing the hope that when the children "do reflect on the last few days, as painful as they are, they will feel such pride . . . that their father gave his life in such an honorable way." 

One of the first to pay her respects yesterday was Andrea Coble, who lives across the street from the church, where she is a parishioner. 

Although she did not know the Gibson family, Coble felt moved to dress her own two little girls – Piper, 5, and Misha, 7 – in fancy cotton dresses and big hair bows and lead them by the hand over to the church. 

"I wanted to teach my children that law enforcement is something to be honored," Coble said, "that officers need to be respected. Most of us go to work, sit at a desk, and it's safe. But for these people, it's not." 

Nodding toward Piper and Misha, the young mother added: "And I'm letting my girls know that this is someone's daddy. This is not just someone you saw on TV." 

American Memory
Two Heroes, Many Tears Escorted by 14-Mile Motorcade, Detective Gibson Is Laid to Rest

Friday, July 31, 1998

On Shirley Highway overpasses, they waved tiny flags as the long funeral cortege passed. On the freeway below, they pulled over and climbed out of their cars, placing their hands over their hearts. On the streets of a grieving capital, small children were hoisted onto their parents' shoulders to watch this last journey of a hero they never knew.

And on a sultry summer afternoon yesterday, beneath the shade of a red maple tree at Arlington National Cemetery, slain Capitol Police Detective John Michael Gibson was laid to rest.

The 1,000-vehicle motorcade that traveled 35 miles from a Prince William County church to the Mall and then on to Arlington halted lunch-hour routines and, for many, became a somber reminder of American values.

Along the Mall, souvenir and refreshment sales slowed to a trickle, and families picnicking on the grass looked up to catch a glimpse of the hearse carrying the body of Gibson, 42. Office workers, tourists and police officers saluted or placed their hands over their hearts as it passed, some in tears.

The motorcade stretched for more than 14 miles and took about a half-hour to pass by. It began after Gibson's funeral at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Lake Ridge, traveled up Interstates 95 and 395 and went past the U.S. Capitol, where Gibson worked for 18 years and where he was slain last Friday.

Law enforcement officers turned out in droves, from as far away as California and Canada, to lead the tribute to Gibson, whom mourners described as an ordinary man who did an extraordinary thing in sacrificing his life to save others in the shootout.

"You didn't have to know him personally," said Sgt. Thomas Maksym of the Nassau County (N.Y.) Police Department, holding a damp handkerchief as he stood at Gibson's grave site. "You know the risks he faced every day. It could have been you."

Thousands of onlookers lined the funeral route, waiting in the blistering heat for the cortege to pass. An honor guard of 260 motorcycle officers led the way.

As the procession traveled up Shirley Highway in the center car-pool lanes, vehicles in the north- and southbound lanes pulled to the shoulders, and motorists got out to watch.

About 130 people waited at the Seminary Road overpass in Alexandria, some arriving 90 minutes before the motorcade started to come by at 12:30 p.m.

Christine DeRiso, who once worked for the Montgomery County police, was moved to tears as she watched the long line of police cars and motorcycles. "That's why they call it a brotherhood," said DeRiso, 30, of Sterling.

Gibson and another 18-year Capitol Police veteran, Officer Jacob J. Chestnut, 58, were killed when an armed intruder rushed past a security checkpoint in the Capitol. Chestnut was shot without warning near the visitors' entrance. Gibson, a plainclothes officer assigned to protect House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), was fatally wounded in an exchange of point-blank gunfire with the assailant. DeLay and others have said that Gibson's quick actions saved many other people's lives.

The suspect, Russell Eugene Weston Jr., 41, is in D.C. General Hospital, continuing to recover from his gunshot wounds.

At his funeral Mass, Gibson was remembered as a loving husband and father of three teenage children; a devoted, disciplined law enforcement officer; and a transplanted Bostonian who never lost his accent or his love of baseball's Red Sox and hockey's Bruins.

The assembled congregation, which included DeLay and several other lawmakers and Hill aides, quickly filled the 1,500 seats for the 10 a.m. service, spilling over into the nearby parish hall and onto the sidewalks.

When the Capitol Police ceremonial unit arrived, two dozen members quietly exited the bus. While straightening their dress uniforms and buffing their leather straps, the officers kept their hats low over their eyes and shook their heads solemnly. "It's just too difficult," one officer muttered as he prepared to get in formation.

Among the last to arrive, walking slowly up the long driveway leading to the red-brick church, were Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and his wife, Victoria, who held hands as they entered the building. Kennedy said earlier that he empathized with the two officers' families because "my family, too, has suffered the sudden loss of loved ones, and I know that there is no greater tragedy, no greater sadness for a family."

Chestnut's family, who will bury their loved one at Arlington today, also attended Gibson's services to offer support and comfort to his widow, Lynn, and the couple's three children. The Gibsons will do the same at Chestnut's funeral today in Fort Washington.

"John truly loved his work," Gibson's longtime friend, Capitol Police Sgt. Jack DeWolfe, said in his eulogy. But his "greatest accomplishment in life was marrying Lynn and having Kristen, Jack and Danny. You were his whole world," DeWolfe said.

"John, my best friend, I love you. I will miss you," DeWolfe concluded, his voice starting to crack. "You will be in my heart forever."

John Arnold, 15, a friend of Jack Gibson's whose father is also a police officer, said the Capitol shootings were traumatic for officers' families.

"My best friend just lost his dad, and it could have happened to me," he said.

Joining the mourners was Holly Balcom-Mensch, who taught both Gibson boys in fourth grade at Lake Ridge Elementary School, where Lynn Gibson is a crossing guard. Balcom-Mensch said she wrote the boys a letter in which she said that their father died a brave man and that his legacy would always be a part of them. 

Outside the church, neighbors lined the streets of the quiet suburban neighborhood, awed by the turnout and the emotion evoked by the ceremony. Some offered drinks to police officers and reporters, and one woman sewed a button on an officer's coat for him.

Shortly after noon, the motorcycles led the cortege away from the church, riding two abreast, their blue and red lights flashing. As the procession turned onto Old Bridge Road, it passed under the extended ladders of two firetrucks, a large U.S. flag suspended between them.

Spectators gathered along the grassy median and shoulders of the road leading to the interstate. They stood in front of shops, gas stations and convenience stores, some with signs, others with more flags, large and small.

In Washington, when the first motorcycles came into view over the 14th street bridge, a hush fell over the crowd, and parents standing two- and three-deep on the sidewalk lifted their children to see the procession.

"As people started watching, there was just a quietness," said Charles Houston, 51, a truck driver who lives in the District. "When something like this tragedy happens, it awakens something in all of us, and you see a unity among people. This is going to be a part of history, remembered for a long time."

As the motorcade slowly wound its way around the Mall, onlookers snapped photographs, while others were brought to tears. Bikers, joggers and tourists saluted or held their hands over their hearts as Gibson's hearse passed them.

Jonathan Stephens, 45, who works for the U.S. Forest Service, said he wanted to show his respect because he once worked as an administrative aide at the Capitol.

"It just gives you the chills to see this," he said. "The pomp and circumstance of the procession is overwhelming."

In the crowd of 500 people gathered on the Capitol's west side was 11-year-old Eugene Herring of Hamilton, N.J.

"This is sad, that a maniac can come to the Capitol and shoot police," he said, adding that "all these people have come out of respect because those officers did their job as they were supposed to do."

George Anderson, visiting Washington from his home in Clearwater, Fla., learned that the funeral procession was coming as his family waited in line at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and decided to stay and watch.

"It touched me, the way the whole nation was touched by it," he said of the shootings in one of the nation's most treasured buildings. "It's just [a] horrible waste. One insignificant person made such an impact on so many people today."

As the hundreds of police motorcycles and cars -- first appearing in the summer haze as one giant, unified vehicle -- rounded the Lincoln Memorial and started over Memorial Bridge, a red D.C. rescue boat in the Potomac River shot streams of water several hundred feet into the air. A line of officers on horseback met the procession at the cemetery's front gate.

When a cadre of officers waiting at Gibson's grave site learned that the motorcade had arrived -- more than an hour after it had left the church -- they fell silent and snapped to attention. Soon the haunting sounds of police bagpipers from Chicago and New York could be heard across the nation's most hallowed military cemetery.

Although Gibson was not a military veteran, he was granted special permission to be buried at Arlington. His grave, under a shady red maple tree in Section 28, is in "a peaceful part of the cemetery," said Arlington historian Tom Sherlock, "off the beaten track."

As four police helicopters flew past in tribute, several officers in full dress uniforms began succumbing to the heat. Some were led away to air-conditioned buses.

Although not a military funeral, the half-hour service included a 21-gun salute and the sounding of taps. Lynn Gibson, her children seated next to her, was presented with the American flag that had draped their father's coffin. 

At the end of the ceremony, she slowly stood and, leaning forward, placed a long-stemmed red rose on her husband's casket. Carved into the polished dark wood surface was the name "John Michael Gibson" and the emblem of the police department he so loved.

GIBSON, JOHN MICHAEL, Det., U.S. Capitol Police

              Age 42, of Woodbridge, VA on Friday, July 24, 1998 at the Washington  Hospital Center. He is survived by his wife, Evelyn (Lyn) Mary Gibson;  parents, Charles and Eleanor Gibson; children, Kristen, John Michael  (Jack) and Daniel Joseph Gibson. Also survived by one brother, Tech. Sgt. Charles Gibson, U.S.A.F., and his maternal grandmother, Margaret Landis. 

 The Congressional Tribute honoring Det. John Michael Gibson and Officer J.J. Chestnut will be held at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, Tuesday,  July 28, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. This will be open to the public with the exception of the hour of 3 to 4 p.m. when the official tribute from Congress will be held.

Visitation will be held at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Woodbridge on Wednesday, July 29, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.,  where funeral services will be held on Thursday. Father Dan Hamilton will  officiate. 

If desired, contributions may be made to HEROES INC., 666 11th  Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

American Memory
Realizing He's Gone Chestnut's Family Mourns, Prepares for Service

Friday, July 31, 1998

A week of ceremony, cameras, cards and flowers and sympathetic words from the president of the United States had passed, and the family of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Jacob J. Chestnut was left alone with its grief.

In the hour before hundreds arrived last night to pay respects to the fallen hero, before the widow, Wendy Wenling Chestnut, collected herself to shake every hand, familiar or strange, that reached out to her, the son, daughters, brothers, nieces and grandchildren of J.J. Chestnut wept over the body of a man who set out for work on Capitol Hill a week ago today and never came back.

Alone around the flag-draped open casket, "we finally saw him, and we realized it was true. He was gone," said Betty Johnson, the officer's sister-in-law. "The last few days, we didn't accept it had happened."

Chestnut, 58, and Detective John M. Gibson, 42, both 18-year veterans of the U.S. Capitol Police force, were killed a week ago when a gunman burst past a security checkpoint into the Capitol and opened fire. A female bystander and the suspected gunman, Russell Eugene Weston Jr., were wounded in the gun battle.

Gibson was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery yesterday after a funeral in Prince William County, his home. The funeral for Chestnut will be at 10 a.m today at Ebenezer AME Church on Allentown Road in Fort Washington. He, too, will be buried at Arlington.

Last night, mourners came to Ebenezer AME Church for a three-hour visitation that drew some of the same people, including fellow officers of the two men, who had spent the day alongside the Gibsons.

Hundreds waited in line to file past the open casket in the church, which Chestnut's 21-year-old daughter, Karen, attends.

Periodically, an honor guard of three Capitol Police officers marched into the church to leave two and retrieve two officers who stood guard on either side of the baby-blue satin-lined casket.

At one point, about a dozen Capitol Police officers filed solemnly past the rest of the mourners to stand over the casket of their fallen comrade. One officer sobbed as she fell into the arms of Wendy Chestnut, who many times last night was engulfed in the arms of a mourner. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry," the officer told the widow. "We loved him."

As an organist played hymns, a line of mourners wound out of the sanctuary to a lobby where, in hushed voices, some talked of a man they never knew and others wept for a friend and fellow police officer.

Margaret Vanzego is a neighbor who remembered Chestnut had walked his children to the bus stop when they were younger. She remembered a husband and wife who used to stroll around the quiet, middle-class neighborhood where they made their home.

"He was a very nice person," Vanzego said. "He was the type who was always happy. A lot of people are hurting. He was a husband, father and grandfather."

Inside the church, which can seat 4,000 in the sanctuary and hundreds more in other rooms designed to handle overflow crowds, mourners congregated under a Bible verse that was stenciled high above them: ". . . For mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people."

Most who gathered were African American, fellow residents of Prince George's County, where Chestnut, who was retired from the Air Force, had lived since 1980.

Lyndra Marshall, an administrator at the church, said Wendy Chestnut insisted that the public be able to see her husband and to pay their respects.

"She knew there were going to be a large number of political people, Capitol Police, other police, but she wanted to make sure that the church opened itself to the common people," Marshall said. "That's what she wanted, the common people."

Delores Bennett, a Fort Washington resident, had a beautician whose name was Chestnut. The beautician was a niece of J.J. Chestnut, it turned out, and Bennett said she came last night because "it's just so awful."

Michele Washington didn't know the family, but she works at the Pentagon and sees guards just like Chestnut every day.

"I came to let them know that we care about what they do," said Washington, a Mitchellville resident.

Chester McKenzie, of Hillcrest, brought his wife. "It was an opportunity to pay my respects to a fallen hero," he said. "I just think that he should be honored."

Charlenea Banks, of Mitchellville, said she was sad "for the family and for us, the United States."

"I think it was something I needed to do because I'm a human being and an American and they were, too," she said.

Officer Chestnut attended a Baptist church down the road, but his family decided that the much larger Ebenezer church could hold the thousands expected to attend his funeral today.

Marshall said that the church has prepared for 10,000 mourners and that those who cannot be accommodated in the main building will be seated across the street in the old Ebenezer church.

This adopted church family sprang into action two days ago when they were summoned to open "God's House" to a shocked and somber American people who have grieved for a week over two men who died to protect them, to protect the Capitol, sometimes called the "People's House."

Before the 6 p.m. visitation was scheduled to begin, female ushers in white dresses and white gloves stood at the church entrances. A minister rushed into the church office to ask if someone could make sure the flag on the coffin was in the proper place. Parishioners who never knew Chestnut directed traffic and brought in flowers.

Eric Galloway Sr., a member of Ebenezer, prepared plates of fruit and meats for the family to eat. "They needed me, so I came," he said.

Marian L. Colter, who works with Wendy Chestnut at a computer firm that manages software for St. Elizabeths Hospital in the District, rushed into the church with a tub of turkey salad and a cake that some of her colleagues had made.

She said Wendy Chestnut would survive this most horrible of trials.

"As long as you've got God with you, you don't have to worry about anything," she said.

Staff writer Nancy Trejos contributed to this report.

Funeral, Procession For Officer Chestnut

The funeral and procession for slain U.S. Capitol Police Officer Jacob J. Chestnut has the potential to disrupt traffic for much of today. All affected roads in Prince George's County and the District will be closed during the procession, which will begin after the 10 a.m. service. Traffic will be rerouted east of the Capitol and west of Rock Creek Parkway. Police advise commuters and tourists to take Metro.

CHESTNUT, JACOB JOSEPH

  On Friday, July 24, 1998. JACOB JOSEPH CHESTNUT was born on April 28, 1940 in Myrtle Beach, SC to the late Rosa Bell and C. Berry Chestnut, Sr. He later moved to Holly Ridge, NC and graduated from Georgetown High School in 1959. He served in the U.S. Air Forcd in 1980 with the rank of Master
  Sergeant in the military police field. He earned various high awards, which included the Bronze Star. He also served in the Vietnam War twice. He joined the United States Capitol Police force in January of 1980. He wasalso a very active member in the DAV (Disabled American Veterans), the Tuskegee Airmen Incorporated, a life time member of the VFW (Veterans of Foreign War) and the Air Force Sergeants Association. He
 was also a very active citizen with the Tantallon Square Civic Association.

He leaves to fondly remember him, his wife, Wen-Ling and their two children, William Liao and Karen Ling and his granddaughter, JasmineBreana Culpepper, of Fort Washington, MD; son, Joseph Chestnut and grandson, Anton Rashay Spivey of Myrtle Beach, SC; twin daugters Janet and Joyce Allen and granddaughters, Ashtan Ann Netherly and Brandy Dionne Miller, and Janece Jaye Graham and granddaughter, Joyce Jaye Brevard, of Austinther, Herman White and his wife, Margie of Myrtle Beach, SC; brother, Caleb White of Jamaica, NYand youngest brother, Henry White and his wife, Ninette of Youngstown,  OH; his half brothers, David Batts, Richard Jones and Daniel Kenan; two half sisters, Marie Dennis and Margaret Lisane; his mother-in-law,  Kuei-Chih Chang; his father-in-law, Chien-Chung Liao; his sister-in-law, Wen-Ying Johnson and five brothers-in-law, John W. Johnson, Wen-Kuo  Liao, Wu-Kuo Liao, Hsing-Kuo Liao, and Hua-Kuo Liao. Also survived
by his aunts, Sarah Simmons and her husband Sherman, and Everlena Graham and her husband, Earnest, all of Myrtle Beach, SC and a host nieces of nephews, other relatives and many dear officers and friends. Friends may call at the Ebenezer AME Church, 7707 Allentown Rd., Ft. Washington, MD on Thursday, from 6 to 9 p.m. where services will be  held on Friday, July 31 at 10 a.m. Interment Arlington National Cemetery.
 

American Memory
Thousands Mourn Capitol Cop
Friday, July 31, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A police officer gunned down at his post in the U.S. Capitol was eulogized by his brother today as a hero, role model and one who ``had a way of bringing people together.''

``They call him a hero here -- he's always been my hero,'' Henry Chestnut told thousands of mourners in Ebenezer AME Church in suburban Fort Washington, Md. ``A bullet cannot strike down the system or institution of law and order.'' 

Capitol Police Officer Jacob J. Chestnut and detective John Gibson were killed a week earlier in a shootout with an assailant who was wounded in the attack. Hundreds of police officers from across the nation came to pay final respects. 

Police say a security camera inside the Capitol's Document Room door entrance captured a chilling look at the firefight that killed Chestnut. The tape shows the attacker's left hand, gun drawn, and then Chestnut, who was talking to a tourist, crumbles to the floor. 

The killer, face obscured by a wide-brimmed hat, walks through the metal detector and moves the pistol into his right hand. After a few steps, his body contorts, as though he shot or was shot at, before he runs out of the picture behind a woman. 

A miles-long procession of police vehicles was to escort Chestnut's body to Arlington National Cemetery, where Gibson was given a hero's burial Thursday. 

More than an hour before the start of Chestnut's funeral, color guards formed in drizzling rain in front of the church and 26 bagpipers from the Chicago Police Department prepared for the procession.

``This is our tradition,'' said the band's leader, John McDonald. ``In this job you have to stick together both in life and in death.'' 

The man charged in the Capitol shootings, Russell E. Weston Jr., remained hospitalized with gunshot wounds, too ill to appear in court. 

He has entered no plea to a charge of killing federal officers, a charge that could bring the death penalty. His lawyer asked Thursday for a three-week delay in the initial court date but the judge did not rule immediately. 

Attorney A. J. Kramer has met with Weston at least twice this week but has refused to answer questions about his client's mental condition. Weston's family has said he is a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic who often ranted against the federal government and believed agents had planted land mines around his Montana cabin. 

Weston is accused of walking through a Capitol metal detector, shooting Chestnut in the head, pressing on into the building filled with tourists, legislators and staff members, then shooting Gibson during a gun battle in which he was also shot. 

A fourth person shot during the gunfight, a 24-year-old tourist from Northern Virginia making her first trip to the Capitol, said Thursday she can identify the gunman. 

In her first public remarks, Angela Dickerson also said she knows who shot her, but she would not identify that person for reporters. 

A third Capitol police officer, Douglas McMillan, also fired at the assailant. 

During a news conference with her husband and lawyer at her side, Mrs. Dickerson said she is recovering well from gunshot wounds to her right shoulder and right eye area. She wore a small bandage just below the eye.

She thanked Gibson and Chestnut for saving lives. 

``I only wish that there were three surviving victims instead of just me,'' she said. 

American Memory
A Man Who Won't Be Forgotten
Saturday, August 1, 1998

They buried Jacob Joseph Chestnut yesterday, a police officer and family man who stood protecting "the gates of freedom." People of all colors, ranks and denominations, neighbors and strangers, came together for a second funeral in two days, ending a week of mourning and uniting to honor a guardian struck down at the door of the U.S. Capitol. 

The sky swelled, then released drops, and the people came to a church in Fort Washington, one by one, two by two. Little girls in patent leather shoes. Elderly women in church hats. Men with canes and police officers from districts across the country. In grays, browns and blues, they lined up to salute Chestnut. He and fellow U.S. Capitol Police officer John M. Gibson were mortally shot July 24 by a deranged man who burst into the Capitol.

The shots pierced a semblance of peace that many had faith would protect their symbols of democracy. The slayings of Chestnut and Gibson, and the wounding of a bystander, were reminders that no one and no place is safe, many mourners said, but they called Chestnut and Gibson heroes for "laying down their lives." 

Chestnut's burial yesterday, after Gibson's on Thursday, closed a week in which the country united in responding to a collective shock. 

"We've come together as a community," the Rev. Grainger Browning, pastor of Ebenezer AME Church, told more than 3,500 mourners who filled the church's vast sanctuary. "All because of Mr. Chestnut, who in doing his duty did not see black people, white people, red people or yellow people. . . . He did not see conservatives or liberals. He did not see Republicans or Democrats. He did not see rich or poor. He did not see Americans or Taiwanese or Africans or Asians. He saw them as God's people." 

The "homecoming services" for Chestnut began early yesterday, as thousands waited hours in the rain at the doors of the church in Fort Washington, the middle-class community in Prince George's County where Chestnut lived. The services continued with a 15-mile cortege that, like Gibson's on Thursday, closed highways and wound past the Capitol to Arlington National Cemetery for a burial with military honors.

At the church, a military band wearing black cloaks beat drums and played bagpipes. Hundreds of officers stood at attention outside, white gloves wrapped around flagpoles held high. 

"In my mind, I just had to be here. I just couldn't be any place else today," said Douglas Hardison, a Fort Washington resident who grew up with Chestnut in North Carolina. "I can remember that smile from when he was a kid in elementary school. Even then he had that charisma and that smile."

Inside the church's foyer, a detail of officers from different forces stood at attention as a recording played of Mahalia Jackson singing "Amazing Grace." At 8:58, two black limousines circled the church, and a Prince George's police officer shouted, "Detail, attention!" 

They snapped and saluted as a long procession of Chestnut's extended family folded their umbrellas and trudged into the church holding hands. Nineteen minutes later, the doors swung open again, and Wendy Wenling Chestnut, Chestnut's wife of 23 years, stepped in. A small woman in a black suit, with her children and other relatives trailing her, she walked tall.

"There she is," whispered Ethel Smith, a D.C. social worker who had come to pay her respects to a stranger. "My God, there she is. God bless her soul." 

Twenty-three more minutes passed. The sounds of hard-soled heels squeaked on a wet sidewalk. Lynn Gibson, who had buried her husband the day before, arrived in a dark suit. Gibson's family followed.

Soon the people, the strangers, those who had come out of a sense of respect for police officers and a respect for humanity piled through the doors. They crept slowly and quietly up the stairs to the balcony. 

Inside, as the choir sang, the widow sat on the first row, near the coffin draped in stars and stripes. The Mass Choir of Ebenezer rocked, and the Metropolitan Police Choir soothed as they sang, "To God be the glory." 

Members of Congress filed into a section to the right of the Chestnuts. Quietly, Wenling Chestnut rose and extended her hand to House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). The small woman in the black suit then moved to Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) and the next member of Congress and the next. Each stood, then they all rose as she moved from one row to the next. Soon she had disappeared amid suits. 

A church member standing in the balcony whispered, "I pray for her. I know God gave her this strength, and He will, too, if you ask Him for it. She's going to need some rest later, much, much rest." 

During the funeral, Jacob Chestnut, 58, was remembered as a man of peace, a serviceman who loved his family and a neighbor who sowed his garden and shared what he reaped – squash, peppers and zucchini.

"It was not the way he died that made him a hero," said Chief Gary L. Abrecht, of the U.S. Capitol Police. "It was the way he lived." 

According to Chestnut's own pastor, the Rev. Jack A. Marcom Jr., of Fort Washington Baptist Church, the police officer arrived at work early and greeted each tourist or member of Congress with the same smile. 

Jacob Chestnut's brother Henry Chestnut told stories of Jacob's work ethic and spirit. Henry Chestnut recalled their trips to Myrtle Beach, S.C. "I would try to get Jake involved in a political conversation. He said, 'Henry, I don't have time for political things. I come to do my job, so that the politicians can do their job.'‚"

Henry Chestnut paused and, speaking to his brother, he said, "You did what you had to do. If you hadn't, you would not have been you." 

Then Henry Chestnut looked into the audience to a section where Gingrich sat next to Thurmond and behind Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D), who sat near Rep. Albert R. Wynn (D-Md.), who was rows in front of Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and across the church from Attorney General Janet Reno. "There's a bright side," Henry Chestnut said. "Even politicians got together. There is a bright side." 

As the church exploded in applause, Henry Chestnut took three long steps and in slow, emotional motion saluted his brother.

Karen Chestnut, Jacob Chestnut's daughter, walked to the podium next, and her voice trembled as she thanked those in attendance, then asked for support to get through her talk. 

"Right, now I'm going to talk about Daddy," she said. She called him a "down-home country boy who enjoyed living off his land." She told how he had taught himself Mandarin Chinese and collected flying maps. He took clothes to the political activist "whom many called homeless," who lived by the Document Room Door at the Capitol – steps away from where he died. 

"Daddy used to say the difficult we can take care of right away," she remembered. "The impossible takes a little longer." 

When the funeral was over, two officers stood at either end of the coffin, turned it parallel to the aisle and pulled it out of the sanctuary. Behind, Wenling Chestnut took the arm of Abrecht and walked out solemnly and more slowly than when she arrived. 

The family climbed into cars that followed hundreds of police cars with blinking lights to Arlington. The motorcade wound through the neighborhoods of Prince George's to Indian Head Highway, a popular commuter route into the District. From there, the line moved to Interstate 295 into the District, past the Capitol, down Constitution Avenue. It crossed Memorial Bridge and headed to Arlington's majestic entrance.

Tyrone Travers, of Accokeek, waited almost three hours for the procession to go by on Livingston Road. "I take my hat off to" law enforcement officers, Travers said. "They've been hurt. The least I can do is stand here." 

Brenda Procter, 36, of Fort Washington, pushed two white candles into the earth at the foot of the Palmer Road traffic light. Next to the unlighted candles, she and her daughter Deirdre, 14, planted three small American flags. 

People took off hats and saluted when the hearse that carried Chestnut's coffin passed. Many ran to the median to look. Traffic stopped. Some motorists sat on car roofs. For 25 minutes, the onlookers waved and gave thumbs-up signs to officers. 

Inside the District lines, the crowd that gathered outside the U.S. Capitol was strangely hushed, long before the motorcade came down First Street.

"We owe this to him today," said lobbyist Keith Kirk, 34. 

Down the street, U.S. Justice Department workers rushed to the curb as soon as they heard the phalanx of police sirens. Tourists heading into the National Museum of American History turned and sat down. 

Constitution Avenue was lined with tourists and federal workers. One woman said the scene reminded her of the day the caisson carrying President John F. Kennedy rolled down the avenue toward Arlington. 

The motorcade reached the grave site about 2 p.m. Chestnut's grave is at one of highest points in the cemetery, a place once known as Freedman's Village. Soon, Chestnut's family emerged from the cars and took their places in velvet-covered seats beneath an ivy-covered cherry tree. One thousand arms saluted as the Air Force Honor Guard carried the coffin to the grave site. A seven-person Air Force firing party shot three volleys, a 21-gun salute. Then a lone bugler played taps, and as the sad strains carried over the cemetery, Chestnut's wife, and many others, began weeping. 

At 3:35 p.m., exactly one week since the shooting, a small group of Capitol Hill police officers and staff members grouped near the building door for a prayer and silence. 

"I don't know when I've ever been more proud of being a police officer," said Pvt. 1st Class R.R. Wilson, standing on the Capitol steps. She was part of the motorcade honoring Gibson the previous day. "All the police officers from all over the country who came, and all the little kids waving flags – it was overwhelming," she said.

American Memory
FULL TEXT Criminal Complaint and Affidavit 

Saturday, July 25, 1998 

Full text of a criminal complaint and affidavit by FBI agent Armin A. Showalter summarizing the investigation of Russell E. Weston Jr. 

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT For the District of Columbia 

United States of America v. Russell Eugene Weston, Jr. DOB: 12/28/56 

Criminal Complaint Case Number: 98-555M-01

I, the undersigned complainant being duly sworn state the following is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. On or about July 24, 1998 in Washington, D.C. county, in the District of Columbia defendant did kill and attempt to kill officers and employees of the United States and of any agency in any branch of the United States Government (including any member of the uniformed services) while such officer and employee is engaged in or on account of the performance of official duties. 

In violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 1114. I further state that I am an FBI Special Agent and that this complaint is based on the following facts: 

See attached affidavit. 

Armin A. Showalter 

Sworn to me and subscribed in my presence, 7/25/98 at Washington, DC

Deborah A. Robinson U.S. Magistrate Judge 

AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF CRIMINAL COMPLAINT

I, Armin A. Showalter, being duly sworn, do state: 

1. I am employed as a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and I have been so employed for seven years. I am currently assigned to the Washington Field Office, and I work on a squad, which investigates violent crimes, to include assaults on and killings of federal officers. 

2. The information contained in this affidavit was obtained by other FBI agents, Washington, D.C. (WDC), Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers, U.S. Capitol Police Department (USCP) officers, and me. This affidavit is in support of a criminal complaint for RUSSELL EUGENE WESTON, JR., white male, DOB: 12/28/56. 

3. On July 24, 1998, at approximately 3:40 p.m., WESTON entered the east front entrance of the U.S. Capitol building and walked up to USCP Officer (Ofc.) Jacob J. Chestnut, who was working in uniform, by a magnetometer. WESTON took out a handgun that he had in his possession, pointed it at Ofc. Chestnut's head, and then fired it, hitting Ofc. Chestnut in the head. WESTON then ran past the magnetometer, through a hallway, and was confronted by plain clothes USCP Ofc. John M. Gibson, who was on duty within the U.S. Capitol. WESTON shot Ofc. Gibson, striking Ofc. Gibson in his chest. Ofc. Gibson was able to return fire before collapsing to the floor. WESTON fell to the floor and was arrested by responding USCP officers. During the exchange of gunfire, a female bystander was also wounded. 

4. Medical personnel treating WESTON cut his clothing off at the scene. Within WESTON's clothing was a Montana driver's license in the name RUSSELL EUGENE WESTON, JR. WESTON also had additional ammunition in his pockets. Both USCP officers, the wounded woman, and WESTON were all taken to area hospitals. A MPD detective has visually confirmed that WESTON matches the photograph on his driver's license. 

5. Both USCP officers died as a result of their injuries. The WDC Medical Examiner's Office has conducted autopsies of both USCP officers and ruled the cause of death, in each case, as gunshot wound and the manner of death as homicide. WESTON and the injured woman are expected to survive. 

Armin A. Showalter Special Agent, FBI 

Subscribed and sworn to before me on this 25th day of July, 

Deborah A. Robinson United States Magistrate Judge District of Columbia

Guardians Carry On at the Capitol

Wednesday, July 29, 1998

During his morning break yesterday, Officer Richard Purdy went to the Rotunda to see the parallel coffins of John and J.J., and it would have been nice to linger and grieve for his Capitol Police buddies, but that was a choice Purdy didn't have. Even on a day like no other, the watch goes on. He had to get back to South Barricade. 

That's Purdy's permanent post, a little white tollbooth with a tin roof at the south entrance to the Capitol grounds, off Independence Avenue at New Jersey Avenue, the House side. If real estate is all about location, Purdy occupies quality turf, flanked by the best lawns and gardens tax money can buy and fronting an edifice of such majesty even a cynic's pulse races at the sight. 

It is to Purdy's spot that taxis come to drop those on business missions to the Hill. And to Purdy that people in T-shirts and sneakers go to ask: Sir, is that the White House? Where's the Smithsonian? He answers, politely and knowledgeably, but he's not foremost a guide. He and his colleagues there are the outer defense, the arbiters of which vehicles will be allowed past retractable metal barriers and into the inner parking lots, the land of senators and representatives. A car bent on bombing or other mayhem must get past Purdy's checkpoint. 

"I'm going to have to be extra vigilant," he said, in between peering into trunks and checking IDs. "Make sure no copycats get in." 

Not on this day of mourning. Not on any. 

Purdy is a tall, fit, handsome man of 34 who has been with the force 13 years. When he left a peaceful Capitol after his shift Friday afternoon, turned on the TV at home and learned that two officers had been shot back at work, he wept. Then his phone began ringing, and his beeper, as his mother, wife and friends made sure their Rich was not one of the two. That outpouring, at least, was wonderful. 

The Capitol's officers had told each other often that something fatal would happen, Purdy said. Americans get blown up in Beirut. Americans get blown up in Oklahoma City. Kids shoot kids at schools. Why not the Capitol? Especially the Capitol. It's overdue for tragedy. It has always drawn the reality-challenged. 

"That dome says, 'Send us your loonies,'" Sgt. Christopher Givens said.

He'd stopped his patrol motorcycle at Purdy's post as hundreds of the powerful and the average eddied past, bound for the Rotunda, where John M. Gibson and Jacob J. Chestnut were being honored a floor above where they were shot. In 25 years on the force, Givens said, he personally has had nine people taken directly from the Capitol to the city's psychiatric hospital, St. Elizabeths. There are so many nut-case regulars on the Hill that the cops have names for them. They're harmless, mostly, and not political. They come because the Capitol is a beautiful, recognizable beacon on a mount, not because it's the seat of power. 

"This is like a magnet for crazy people. That's a fact," said Lt. Greg Marshall, of the Howard County police, a former Capitol Police officer who'd stopped at Purdy's post with his young son after both had paid their respects inside. 

Usually, nothing serious happens with the nuts. But we all get used to our routine and the tranquillity of everyday life, and even when you know danger could commence the second after this one, you don't believe that. Purdy spoke of boredom. He loves the job, he said, loves the presidents and celebrities, but there can be sameness. The killings have been a slap. 

"It's a little bit of a wake-up call," he said. "You don't think it would happen to you, you don't think it would happen to me, but guess what? And I think that was the feeling here for a long time." 

The deaths, Purdy said, have reminded him of his own essential, risky purpose. And he senses members of Congress look at the Capitol's officers with new gratitude. They aren't furniture. 

A Jeep approached the checkpoint. At the wheel was Sonny Bono's widow, now his successor in Congress. "You guys are wonderful," said Mary Bono, a Republican from California. "I can't tell you how much we appreciate what you're doing." A couple of minutes later came Jesse L. Jackson Jr., a Democratic congressman from Illinois, who reached through his car window to shake the hand of an officer working with Purdy.

None of the officers expected such national sadness for two of their own. Gibson and Chestnut weren't Diana, known worldwide, or seminal figures in political history. They were cops. The bulk of the people standing in line yesterday to see their caskets hadn't heard of either one of them a week ago today. 

But Americans, perhaps more than any people on Earth, hold a collective faith in bedrock rules and principles, and that's enabled us to be a democracy for a long, long time, even as other nations have sunk into chaos, risen, only to sink again. And the Capitol, where our shared rules are written, is that faith etched in stone, and Gibson and Chestnut – and Purdy and Givens and the rest – are the stone's guardians. Assault them and you assault our faith. 

Maybe Russell Eugene Weston Jr., as troubled as he is, had no such lofty intent when he allegedly burst into the Capitol on a summer Friday and started killing. Then again, he didn't choose a 7-Eleven. Now we all know about the Capitol Police. We know what they do. 

On a day like no other yesterday, Richard Purdy was out there doing it. 

Memorial Service Quotes & Transcripts
Tuesday, July 28, 1998

Comments by speakers at the U.S. Capitol memorial service for Capitol Police officers Jacob J. Chestnut and John Gibson, compiled by the Associated Press:

We thank their families for enduring the pain and extra burden of joining us here today. For they remind us that what makes our democracy strong is not only what Congress may enact or a president may achieve. Even more, it is the quiet courage and uncommon bravery of Americans like J.J. Chestnut and John Gibson, and indeed every one of the 81 police officers who just this year have given their lives to ensure our domestic tranquility. John Gibson and J.J. Chestnut also did mercy in giving their lives to save the lives of their fellow citizens. We honor them today. And in so doing we honor also the hundreds of thousands of other officers, including all of their comrades, who stand ready every day to do the same. – President Clinton Full Text 

As much as any soldier who ever landed on a beach, last week, the gatekeepers of our Capitol became the front-line guardians of our freedom. In defending each citizen's right to cross through that doorway in safety, they were defending democracy itself at its core. – Vice President Al Gore Full Text 

I wanted to suggest to you that in passing, your husbands and your fathers had, in fact, brought together this nation, that their devotion to duty, their sacrifice to defend freedom, their commitment of their life -- both on a daily basis and at the crisis that occurred on Friday -- has, in fact, reminded millions and millions of people that while this is the center of freedom in the world and this building is the centerpiece of freedom in our constitutional system it only lasts as long as there is courage. – House Speaker Newt Gingrich Full Text

At the top of this dome is a statue. Many argue about its symbolism. But it stands for the spirit of freedom. And today, the spirit of freedom is in this room because of these men. And it will continue to live in this building, in our hearts and as we maintain freedom and liberty for future generations. – Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott Full Text 

We understand that there are those who seek to disrupt the national legislative process or come here to commit acts of violence. It is important that those individuals understand that there are other officers like J.J. and John who are determined to fill the breach and hold tight the thin blue line which protects our congressional community and allows the public to safely visit their seat of government. – U.S. Capitol Police Chief Gary Abrecht 

RECONSTRUCTION
'Don't Move! You Just Shot 2 of My Men!' 
Sunday, July 26, 1998

Patrick Shall sees him in the corner of his eye, a slight, red-haired man on his way into the nation's Capitol. It's less than two hours before closing on a Friday afternoon, and he figures it's just another tourist giving Capitol Police Officer Jacob J. Chestnut a hard time.

Then the manager of the Capitol gift shop hears a crashing sound, a rippling echo in the marbled halls.

"We looked at each other in the shop and thought, man, that was pretty loud," Shall recalls. "There's a time delay, and we hear a second shot."

A middle-aged man freezes with his wallet out.

Shall and two employees push him behind the counter.

Employee Tyvon Crawford is on the floor, the tourist spread over him.

Shall is on top, peering through the glass counter. 

Out in the gleaming corridor, Capitol Police Officer Douglas B. McMillan is aiming and firing, the semiautomatic recoiling in his hands like something alive. 

"I see this officer dash out and crouch in front of a tourist on the floor," Shall remembers. "He completely exposes himself to shield someone else. It was incredibly brave." 

The bullets that flew in the nation's Capitol on Friday cut down two officers and twisted hundreds of lives together for a few frenzied and tragic hours. 

An aide to House Majority Whip Tom DeLay crawls under a desk as a gunman bursts through his office door. 

A tourist and her son and niece slip through a secret door in the Capitol and watch the events unfold on television. 

Mothers lose children – and find them again. 

A senator sees an officer's life slip away. 

A surgeon tries to explain to two teenage sons why he couldn't save their father. 

It begins at 3:40 p.m. on a sultry July afternoon. 

The Office of the House Majority Whip 'They Killed Gibson! They Shot Gibson!' 

Inside the office complex of DeLay (R-Tex.), aide Scott Hatch knows right away what that unmistakable "rap-rap-rap" is. Hatch turns toward the back door and Special Agent John Gibson, DeLay's bodyguard.

"We both had that look, 'It's gunfire,' " Hatch recalls. 

The images come split-second, rapid-fire. Gibson, who sits with his back perhaps a foot from the door, rises. Spins. His right hand goes toward the gun at his hip, his left hand touches the door. 

"I heard him yell, 'Get down!' " Hatch remembers.

The door is opening at that point, just a crack. Hatch cannot tell whether Gibson is pulling it open or someone is pushing from outside.

It is the last thing Hatch sees before running into an inner office, rounding up other aides and locking the door, with about 15 staff members inside, huddled together for safety. 

Tony Rudy, DeLay's chief counsel, and Tim Berry, Rudy's office mate – both on the phone – are in an office across the hall from Hatch. Rudy has just come back from the House floor, where Republicans have pulled off a razor-thin victory on their patients' rights bill. Berry and others have watched the close vote on C-SPAN. Lining up and counting votes is what the whip's office is all about, and everyone is in the mood for a celebration. 

At the sound of the gunfire, they dive for cover, too, under their own desks. But now all Rudy can think about is the hallway, with its two-way junction just outside his office. If the gunman – or maybe it is more than one – turns right at that spot, he'll be in Rudy's office.

"I was looking from under my desk, waiting for footsteps," Rudy recalls. "Then I thought, 'I'm not risking my life on whether he turns left or right.' " 

Rudy bolts, Berry right next to him. 

But before they get very far, a young staff member runs in, screaming, "They killed Gibson! They shot Gibson!" 

For about 30 seconds, there is silence. And maybe, Rudy thinks, it is over. 

He and Berry walk toward the hallway and then to the back of the office. By that time, DeLay, who pulled a couple of staff members and a tourist to safety in his office's private bathroom, is coming out, too. 

They see one man "lying on the ground, with a weird hat next to him" and a huge pool of blood by his side. He is later identified as the gunman, Russell Eugene Weston Jr. Rudy can't see Gibson, who is lying on the ground, obscured by a desk. 

A police officer is standing over the gunman, with a pistol pointed at the prone man's head. "Don't move," the officer shouts, as Berry recalls it. "You just shot two of my men." 

Statuary Hall 'Boy, This Is a Heck of a Thing, Huh?' 

One short flight upstairs, Babs and David Melton step out of the vaulted Rotunda in Statuary Hall with their 11-year-old son, John, and 12-year-old niece, Shelly. In all the years they had visited Washington, they had not taken their son inside the Capitol. 

So on this Friday afternoon, the family from Winchester, Va., is doing the grand tour. Then they hear the sounds that are the common memory of everyone who is here this day. 

"The place went dead silent until that next shot," Babs Melton recalls. "Then somehow you know it's gunfire." 

Three police officers run by, guns drawn. As if in slow motion, she says, 40 or 50 tourists back against the walls, some tucking themselves behind statues of Ethan Allen, Robert E. Lee and Sam Houston. She motions to the children to get back, but they are more or less completely exposed.

"Then to my amazement, one of the walls opens up, and it's a door. Someone inside said, 'Come in here, you'll be safe here.' " 

It's the policy office for Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.). Security has phoned Peter Davidson, the 36-year-old director, and told him to lock the door. But he hears the tourists outside and brings them in. Some of the adults verge on hysteria. 

"They were so nice to us, very calm," Babs remembers. "They are asking the children, 'Where are you from?' 'Boy, this is a heck of a thing, huh?' It is such a commonplace thing that it calms you down." 

The television is tuned to CNN. Five or six children sit on the floor and watch the horror unfold on the television screen. One young mother, with long dark hair, is crying softly. She's separated from her 2-year-old son, who is with her grandmother. 

Davidson asks her some questions. "She keeps saying, 'He's in the place with the big picture,' " he says. "We know that's the Rotunda, and we arrange to get someone out there and find her baby." 

After 45 minutes, security officers lead the 40 tourists – mother and child reunited – through a labyrinthine warren of tunnels to the outside. The sun is blazing, a Capitol Police captain is talking of a dead comrade, and police and ambulances and thousands of onlookers are everywhere. 

"We knew someone had died; it's a sad, sad day," Babs Melton recalls. "It isn't that I was panicky so much as jumpy. It's just so darned unreal." 

The House Whip's Office 'We All Knew That Chestnut Was Not Going to Live'

House Oversight Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), known for his acerbic humor and well-tailored suits, strolls out of a triumphal news conference heralding passage of the GOP health care bill. Then he hears of the shooting. 

Thomas sweeps across the House floor and trots quickly down the marble steps. He finds pure carnage. Staff tend to one of the officers with a gaping gunshot wound. Blood pools on the floor. 

"We all knew [the officer] was not going to live," Thomas remembers. "It was the wounds he had sustained." 

Thomas, whose committee oversees the Capitol's security, gets on the telephone to Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and to Capitol security and decides on a strategy for releasing details about the officers' conditions. Amid the blood, the business conversations are comforting, help center him. 

"You kick into a routine. The way I react is I become very focused and rational. After the fact, then you're able to look at it as a human being and look at it as a very tragic situation." 

The Dirksen Building 'This May Be the Gunman' 

Across Constitution Avenue from the Capitol, Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), a heart surgeon and trauma specialist, has just finished speaking on the Senate floor and heads to his Dirksen Building office suite. "Something bad has happened at the Capitol," an aide tells him. 

He does what everyone on Capitol Hill does; he looks at the television and sees only standard programming. So Frist grabs a folder and heads out. He's late for his flight already. 

As an aide drives him out of a Senate garage, he calls the Capitol's attending physician and finds out two people "are down" at the Capitol. 

In his shirtsleeves, Frist gets out of the car and sprints onto the Capitol grounds, past police and camera crews, tourists and reporters, and into a ground-floor door. 

A security guard puts his hand up to stop Frist, then realizes who he is. 

A man is being wheeled out on a stretcher. 

"This was Chestnut," Frist recalls. The officer has massive head trauma. His heart has stopped. He can't breathe. The Capitol physicians have put in a breathing tube. 

"You've got to get air into the lungs, you have to compress on the chest," Frist remembers. "I had a medic compressing on the chest, as I was ventilating through the breathing tube, squeezing the bag." 

By now, Frist is in the ambulance with his patient, stabilizing him, getting his heart beating again. Three medics are there by now, so Frist sends the ambulance off. He already knows it is a losing battle. "This severe a head trauma, I have seen nobody survive," Frist recalls. 

Frist never sees the other wounded officer, John Gibson. By this time, paramedics have worked on him and colleagues have pleaded with him to "hold on." He has been taken to Washington Hospital Center in a helicopter. 

But Frist runs back into the building for another patient and quickly takes stock. 

"Severe injuries to his extremities and chest," Frist remembers. Frist takes over the jobs that medics can't do. "I focused on his airway, making sure he could breathe." 

Frist doesn't know it, but he is working on Weston. "Somebody may have said, 'This may be the gunman,' " Frist recalls. "I am trained to take care of the patient. I was focused on how to keep his heart going and lungs going. ... I am not trained to think of anything else in that situation ... His injuries are multiple. He would bleed to death from gun wounds to the arteries." 

This time Frist climbs into the ambulance with his patient, concerned that the man's chest might have to be opened on the way to the hospital, something the medics can't do. 

He stays with the man, who he says has a 6-to-8-inch chest wound, until he turns him over to the trauma team at D.C. General Hospital.

Frist has tried to help prepare the Capitol's emergency teams for such an incident. 

"Did I ever think it would happen? I hoped not."

Washington Hospital Center 'They Give Their Lives for Us ... ' 

Across town, at Washington Hospital Center, the voice comes crackling over the intercom just before 4 p.m. "Code Yellow Medstar, Code Yellow Medstar ... five minutes by helicopter, code yellow, code yellow ..." 

A nurse runs into the scrub room, where physician Bikram Paul is washing up after a long cancer operation. It's on the television news, she tells him, there's shooting at the Capitol, a U.S. Park Police helicopter is flying to the hospital with a wounded officer. Paul turns off the water and slips on a clean pair of scrubs. Then he orders aides to activate the cardiac resuscitation equipment. 

Paul and three trauma nurses walk down the hall to the helipad behind the hospital to begin trying to save the life of Gibson. 

The paramedics are pumping and pumping, doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. They take Gibson off the helicopter and wheel him into surgery bay No. 2. The nurses cut his shirt off with surgical scissors. There is a bullet hole beneath and to the left of the heart. 

Gibson's vital signs are flatlined. 

"We opened the chest immediately," Paul recalls. "We found the bullet has gone downward to the abdomen, injuring the liver and major blood vessels. ... We could not restart the heart."

Paul, a senior surgeon who founded the Medstar unit, has operated on them all, from homeless men to U.S. senators. But losing police officers – and he's worked on several mortally wounded officers – is perhaps hardest. "They are young. They give their lives for us and our country."

Gibson's wife is in the waiting room, along with Capitol Police brass. Five chaplains, representing different denominations, come in to say that her husband's body is ready for her. Meanwhile, the Park Police send the helicopter to Woodbridge, where it will land in a parking lot and pick up Gibson's two teenage sons. 

Capitol Police chaplain Manuel Rivera later meets with Gibson's wife and his two, strapping blond sons. He leads them to the room where their father's body lies. 

"We had a prayer, and then I left them for a few minutes," he remembers. "It was a very personal moment." 

The Aftermath 'Reeling and Unreeling the Day's Events' 

In Winchester, Babs and David Melton get home just after midnight. The two children are asleep in the back of the car; they haul them into bed, and then Babs and David just sit there. 

They can't turn their minds off. "You just keep reeling and unreeling the day's events," Babs recalls. So they flick on the television news. 

Babs pads off to the bedroom about 2 a.m. David falls asleep in his recliner, hours later. 

In DeLay's office, the working day never seems to end. Phones jangle, Staff members comfort one another. All night long, it seems, police take statements. 

After 11 p.m., about a half-dozen staff members leave together. "We walked out and we could see the media circus," Berry remembers. "The Capitol Police spokesman was giving his final statement, and all the floodlights were on. ... And the thing that was most crushing was that John [Gibson] had died." 

Earlier that evening, one more ending: From the parking lot at Washington Hospital Center, a black medical examiner's van wheels away carrying Gibson's body. Once on the street, the driver turns on the sirens, a mournful wail, and disappears north. 

Soon Gibson's wife and sons walk onto the tarmac. The sun has retreated beneath the tree line and Washington National Cathedral's spire is stark against a pink sky. 

A Capitol Police commander, a few lieutenants, city police officers and nurses stand on the tarmac. Without a word, they form a line and stiffen as the family walks to the helicopter. 

The chopper lifts slowly, and pauses for a second over the hospital. A Capitol Police officer lifts his hand to salute, and the chopper does a 180-degree turn and heads home.


 Photo Courtesy of Ron Williams

JM Gibson Gravesite PHOTO April 2006

JJ Chestnut Graveiste PHOTO

JJ Chestnut Gravesite PHOTO

0JJ Chestnut Gravesite PHOTO
Photos Courtesy of Holly, 2 April 2006

Jacob Chestbut was laid to rest in Section 4, Grave 2764-A
John Michael Gibson was laid to rest in Section 28, Grave 140

Click Here For Photographic Coverage

Updated: 2 December 2000
Updated: 22 January 2002
Updated: 11 March 2003