A suspect wielding a shotgun opened fire at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and the nearby Village Shalom assisted living facility, killing three, Sunday afternoon. Video from KMBC in Kansas City appeared to show the suspect, who was arrested outside a nearby elementary school soon after the shooting, sitting in the back of a police car yelling “Heil Hitler.”
The suspect was identified late Sunday night as Frazier Glenn Cross, according to CNN. Cross was described as a white male in his 70s from Aurora, Mo. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday to face charges of premeditated first-degree murder.
Cross is likely an alias for Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., a lifelong white supremacist credited with leading the Carolina Ku Klux Klan and now-defunct White Patriot Party. Miller, 73, has lived in Aurora since 2002.
The Kansas City metropolitan area is home to a large Jewish population, totaling around 19,000 according to the 2011 census. Two of the victims, who were identified Sunday as Dr. William Lewis Corporon and his grandson, 14-year-old Reat Griffin Underwood, were members of a Methodist church in Leawood. The third victim, the woman killed at Village Shalom, has yet to be identified.
According to a statement on JCCKC’s Facebook page, the shooting occurred in the parking lot of the Jewish Community Campus, but not inside any buildings. Everyone participating in JCC programming at the time was sent home.
The Jewish Community Center Facebook page says they offer social and educational programs for adults and children, preschool, babysitting and after-school care and state-of-the-art fitness facilities. Their membership is not exclusively Jewish, and their mission is to “enrich (their) diverse community by cultivating an inclusive environment built upon Jewish values, heritage and culture.”
Levi Gerson, freshman in life sciences, is from Overland Park. He said he has belonged to the JCC for as long as he can remember, and that he attended preschool there. He said although he typically doesn’t have a strong reaction when he hears news of shooting events, the fact that this one was so close to home for him made it different.
“It was like, ‘Wow, that does happen here,'” Gerson said. “I actually could have been walking in there to work out or something. That really could have been me.”