Gunman shouting “Heil Hitler!” murdered 3 people, injured two at two Kansas Jewish centers
A 70-year old man shot dead three people, including a grandfather and his grandson, and injured two, at two Jewish centers outside Kansas City Sunday, April 14, before being taken into custody. . One witness heard him shouting “Heil Hitler!” The man who was not identified by the police was described as calm and smiling before and after his detention.
The attacks took place on the eve of the Passover festival at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park and the assisted living center at nearby Village Shalom in Leawood. The two centers are separated by a commercial street in a wealthy suburb of Kansas City.
A grandfather and his 16-year old grandson were shot dead at Overland. They were members of the Apostle Episcopal Church who were at the center for a talent competition of young theatre actors. According to one witness, the shooter opened rapid fire at the back door of the building and hit whoever happened to be passing.
He then drove to Village Shalom and shot dead a 70-year old woman in the parking lot. Two other people were injured. One a 16-year old boy is in critical condition.
Kansas City police have refused to reveal the results of their initial interrogation of the shooter or his motive except to say he is not a local resident and did not appear to know his victims. Shortly after the attacks, they placed the two Jewish centers, in shock from the moments of terror, under heavy police guard.
Officials did not release the suspect’s identity, but a Johnson County sheriff's database said Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, was under arrest without bail on suspicion of first-degree murder. The Southern Poverty Law Center said Cross was an avowed white supremacist who "has been in the movement all his life." The FBI has been called into the case, the agency confirmed. It was not clear whether hate-crime charges would be sought.
President Obama called the shooting “horrific.” In a statement, he said, “Michelle and I offer our thoughts and prayers to the families and friends who lost a loved one and everyone affected by this tragedy. … While we do not know all of the details surrounding today’s shooting, the initial reports are heartbreaking.”
A vigil was planned for Sunday evening at St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church, where a large cross and a menorah rested on a table.