ARLINGTON, Va. -- A sniper shot and killed American Nazi leader George Lincoln Rockwell today at a shopping center near his headquarters here. A suspect identified as one of his Nazi associates was arrested minutes later.
Prosecutor William J. Hassan said the suspect was a party member.
The Nazi leader was pronounced dead at the scene by a coroner.
Police Inspector Walter Bell said Rockwell was shot once through the chest, just above the heart, and once in the head.
Bell said Dr. John Judson pronounced Rockwell dead of head and chest wounds.
Police said they picked up a white man wearing a trench coat and yellow shirt -- the exact description given to UPI by Tom Blakeney, owner of a barbershop in the shopping center.
The barber said he and an associate chased the man after seeing him running from the scene -- a shopping center -- after the shooting.
Rockwell had been to a laundromat. Witnesses said there were two shots, and the car windshield had two bullet holes in it.
No weapon was located immediately.
Hassan, who lives across the street from the shopping center, said Rockwell was backing his car out of a parking space at the shopping center when he was shot.
Hassan said two bullets went through the windshield of the car, one hitting Rockwell and one richocheting off metal part of the seat and into the roof.
The suspect, not immediately identified, was taken to police headquarters for questioning.
Witnesses said the shots were fired from the top of the laundromat.
Rockwell's ever-present corn cob pipe was lying in the front seat of the car when it was towed away, along with a dirty brown sock.
Robert Hancock, 17, an attendant in a coin laundry in the shopping center, said he heard two shots about 12:20 p.m. EDT.
Hancock said he walked out of the laundromat and saw a man standing on the roof of a beauty shop next door. He said Rockwell was driving out of the parking lot at the wheel of an old model car. Hancock said it appeared that Rockwell dived for the passenger-side door of the car and fell out of the vehicle.
Police said the shot came from atop a building on Wilson Boulevard, one of the main streets in Arlington just across the Potomac River from Washington.
The shooting occurred shortly after noon and the 49-year-old Rockwell was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The shooting was in a section known as Dominion Hills.
Rockwell formed and led the American Nazi Party with an avowed policy favoring deporting Negroes to Africa, dispossessing Jews and sterilizing them, and hanging what it called "traitors" like former Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Harry S. Truman and Chief Justice Earl Warren.