WASHINGTON, D.C.: A gunman with anti-Semitic ties allegedly shot three people dead on Sunday (Monday in Manila) at a Jewish community center and a retirement community in Kansas, drawing widespread condemnation and consternation on the eve of Passover.
Frazier Glenn Cross, who is now in custody, was not local and did not know the victims, Overland Park Police Department Chief John Douglass told reporters.
Cross, an alias for the suspect who also goes by Frazier Glenn Miller, has long-held white supremacy ties as a former leader within the Ku Klux Klan, as well as a history of anti-Semitism, said the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks hate groups.
The suspect was heard yelling “Heil Hitler” as police officers escorted him away at an elementary school, local NBC television affiliate KSHB reported. Douglass refused to confirm the report.
A member of a neo-Nazi forum called the Vanguard News Network, Cross, who hails from Aurora, Missouri, had posted more than 12,000 messages since joining, the SPLC said.
Cross allegedly used a shotgun in the assault and investigators, who are being assisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are trying to determine whether a handgun and assault rifle were involved.
President Barack Obama condemned the “horrific” shooting, and pledged the federal government’s “full support” in the investigation and to the community.
“The initial reports are heartbreaking,” he said in a statement offering his condolences to the families of the victims.
The first shooting at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City took place around 1 p.m. as youths auditioned for a play.
Rabbi Herbert Mandl, who serves as chaplain for the Overland Park Police Department, told CNN that the suspect asked people whether they were Jewish before opening fire.
He killed two people there—William Lewis Corporon, who died on the spot, and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, who succumbed to injuries at a hospital, The Kansas City Star reported.
He then got in his car and headed to the Village Shalom assisted living center, where he allegedly killed a woman in her 70s about 15 minutes after the first shooting.