Three Dead After Shootings at Kansas City-Area Jewish Sites

The Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kan. was the site of a shooting Sunday afternoon.
The Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kan. was the site of a shooting Sunday afternoon. –John Sleezer, AP

Update, 8:45 a.m., April 14: Authorities have identified the suspected shooter as a Missouri man named Fraiser Glenn Cross, Jr. That name is reportedly an alias for Fraizer Glenn Miller, 73, a former leader of a North Carolina branch of the Ku Klux Klan.

The Southern Poverty Law Center described Cross as a “raging anti-Semite,’’ CNN reported. The SPLC, which tracks hate groups, cited Cross’ extensive posting in an online forum advocating for the extermination of Jewish people.

The address police listed for Cross is the same address Miller used when filing candidate papers to run for Congress in Missouri, ABC reported. In 2006, Miller sued when the secretary of state refused to let him on the ballot.


Authorities have declined to identify the victims of the shooting. However, the family of the two male victims released a statement identifying them as Reat Griffin Underwood, 14, and his grandfather Dr. William Lewis Corporon.

According to NBC News, Underwood was an Eagle Scout and a freshman at Blue Valley High School. Coporon moved to the Kansas City area to be closer to his grandchildren after practicing family medicine in Oklahoma for almost 30 years. Both were Christian, according to ABC News.

Update, 6:21 p.m.: Law enforcement officials answered reporters’ questions for about 15 minutes during a press conference on Sunday’s shooting, though details remained sparse only hours into the investigation.

Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass said that investigators couldn’t definitively call the shooting a hate crime, but that authorities were closely exploring the theory.

“We know it’s a vicious act of violence [aimed at] two Jewish facilities,’’ he told reporters.

“We haven’t ruled out anything,’’ he later added.

The Chief declined to name the suspect, described as a white-haired male in his 70s who was not local to Kansas. He said the man was taken into custody without incident at a nearby Elementary School parking lot.

Victims names’ were also withheld, though the Chief said two male victims were shot in a parking lot outside of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, with one dying on the scene and a 14-year-old victim who later died of his injuries at Overland Park Medical Center. A single female victim was also killed outside of Village Shalom.


The suspect fired at two additional victims but missed, Douglass said.

Police said they believe the suspected employed a shotgun in the killings, and were investigating the possibility a handgun was also involved.

Douglass said the first calls came to 911 just after 1 p.m. Central Standard Time.

You can watch the full press conference here: - Jackson, MS

Update, 5:35 p.m.: The Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City has just posted this statement on their Facebook page:

Original story: At least three people are dead after two shootings were reported at Jewish sites in the suburbs of Kansas City Sunday afternoon.

Station KMBC-TV reports from Overland Park, Kan.:

Police said one person was killed at the Jewish Community Center at 5800 W. 115th Street and another was killed at Village Shalom, an assisted living facility at 123rd Street and Nall.


Police later took a man into custody on the grounds of Valley Park Elementary School near 123rd Street and Lamar Avenue.

KCTV-5 provided this raw video of the suspect — who reportedly yelled “Heil Hitler’’ as he was taken into custody — being led to a police car shortly after the killings:


About 75 people were inside the theater at the Jewish Community Center, most of them children rehearsing an upcoming production of “To Kill a Mockingbird.’’

Sunday is the day before the beginning of Passover, one of the most important festivals in Jewish tradition.

We’ll continue to update this story as it develops.

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