By Carey Gillam OVERLAND PARK, Kansas (Reuters) - The suspect in the Passover Eve killings of three people at two Jewish community centers near Kansas City is a former Ku Klux Klan leader with a history of spewing vitriol against Jews, law enforcement officials said on Monday. Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, faces local and federal prosecution on hate crime charges after his arrest on Sunday for a shooting spree that killed a teenager and his grandfather outside a Jewish community center, and a woman visiting her mother at a nearby Jewish retirement home. Both facilities are in Overland Park, Kansas, an upscale suburb outside Kansas City, Missouri. It was a bitter irony noted by many in the area that none of the victims was Jewish. The boy and his grandfather were members of an area Methodist church and the woman attended a Catholic church. Cross, of Aurora, Missouri, had a prior criminal history and was known by law enforcement and human rights groups as a former senior member of the KKK movement and someone who had long made public comments against Jewish people, according to the FBI. "Yesterday's attack ... strikes at the core fundamental freedoms ... of how our country was founded and what we live by every single day," said FBI agent Michael Kaste. "We've now determined that the motivation behind this was a hate crime. The acts that this person committed were the result of beliefs ... that he had." Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe and U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas Barry Grissom said they were collaborating on charges in local and federal courts. Both the Southern Poverty Law Center, a leading anti-hate group, and the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR) have tracked Cross, who also goes by the name Frazier Glenn Miller, for years. The groups say he was involved in creating an armed paramilitary organization in North Carolina 20 years ago. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said Cross is a "raging anti-Semite" who has posted online commentaries that include "No Jews, Just Right" and calls to "exterminate the Jews." Cross is a former leader of both the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party, groups aimed at the unification of white people, targeting African Americans and others for intimidation, according to the SPLC. He served time in prison on weapons charges and for making threats through the mail, the group said. The IREHR said he idolizes Adolf Hitler. "His worship for Hitler and Hitlerism is real," said Leonard Zeskind, president of IREHR, in a statement issued Monday. The Anti-Defamation League said Cross was one of the "more notorious white supremacists" in the United States in the early 1980s, though his involvement over the last decade has been on the periphery of the white supremacist movement. The league issued a security bulletin to U.S. synagogues and Jewish communal institutions urging them to review security plans for the Passover holiday that begins at sundown. SURPRISE ATTACKS The shootings started around 1 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. High school student Reat Griffin Underwood, 14, was with his grandfather, 69-year-old William Corporon, outside the Jewish Community Center when attacked. The teenager was at the center to audition for a singing competition, according to family member Will Corporon. The grandfather died at the scene and the boy died later at a hospital, police said. The shooter then drove a little more than a mile away to the Village Shalom retirement community and fatally shot 53-year-old Terri LeManno, police said. LeManno was an occupational therapist and married mother of two children and was making a regular visit to her mother who lived at the retirement facility, police said. It appeared the gunman had used a shotgun and possibly other firearms, police said. Kaste said the FBI had been aware of Cross and his background but was not monitoring him and had no warnings of the attacks. He said that it did not matter that the victims were not Jewish because hate crime violations are tied to the biases and beliefs of the suspect that motivate the crime, not the identities of the victims. The Jewish Community Center, known locally as "The J" is a popular recreational and educational spot for many families throughout the area, Jewish or not. It is also the site of Kansas City's only Jewish community day school, the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy. At a vigil held Sunday night, Mindy Corporon, mother of Reat Underwood, said she got to the scene only minutes after the shooting. "I knew immediately that they were in heaven. I know they are in heaven together," she said of her son and father. (Reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City and Carey Gillam in Overland Park; Additional reporting by Curtis Skinner and Chris Michaud in New York; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, John Stonestreet, Tom Brown and Andrew Hay)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
- Kansas City Star
“I knew how much it meant to Tom, and I was willing to trade.”
- Atlanta Black Star
‘Poses Real Problems’: Ex Minneapolis Cop Has Murder Conviction Reversed and Sentencing Reduced; New Precedence Draws Concern as Derek Chauvin Seeks to Appeal His Conviction
Minneapolis’ first cop to be convicted of murder may regain his freedom sooner than anticipated. In an unprecedented turn of events, a Minnesota judge re-sentenced […]
- Business Insider
A mom told Jeff Bezos that Amazon was underpaying her $90 a month, sparking an internal probe that found the company was shortchanging some workers, a report says
"I'm crying as I write this email," Tara Jones, an Amazon worker, wrote to Jeff Bezos, The New York Times reported.
Prince William and Kate Middleton just broke a royal rule during their latest...
- E! News
A little over a week after Travis Barker’s grandiose proposal, Kourtney Kardashian is still on cloud nine. Want proof? See the star strip down for a celebratory photo.
The former guy had a meltdown over his once-favorite network for running ads critical of him.
- Patriots Wire
Bill Belichick is a simple man.
The airline ceased operations, leaving thousands of workers unemployed and others with lower pay on a new carrier, union reps say.
According to royal experts and correspondents, the Palace was "misleading" about the Queen's recent hospitalization.
- NBC Sports BayArea
Kyle Shanahan has defended Jimmy Garoppolo through the first seven weeks, but the 49ers head coach offered perhaps his most blunt criticism of the QB after the loss to the Colts.
Angelina Jolie has been bringing her children to the different premieres for her Marvel Cinematic Universe film Eternals, first in Los Angeles, now in Italy.
A torrent of social media abuse was aimed at India's only Muslim player, the bowler Mohammed Shami, after his side were thrashed by arch rivals Pakistan at the cricket T20 World Cup.
- List Wire
List Wire ranks the Heisman Trophy candidates after Week 8 of the college football season.
- Kansas City Star
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes acknowledged what’s become clear this season: He’s pressing.
- Washington Examiner
The founder of "Cowboys for Trump" may be moseying along on his lonesome.
The Blink-182 drummer inked his fiancée's lips on his arm one week after he popped the question in Montecito, California
- Yahoo Celebrity
Diesel stepped in for his late "Fast & Furious" co-star on his goddaughter's wedding day.
Pakistan notched up their first ever win against India in the Twenty20 World Cup with a crushing 10-wicket victory in Dubai.
- The New York Times
FRANKLIN, Tenn. — For decades, when Hewitt Sawyers drove past the monument of the Confederate soldier standing tall in his city’s public square, he felt the weight of slavery’s long shadow. Sawyers, 73, had attended a segregated school in Franklin, about 20 miles south of Nashville. He read from torn books passed down from the local white high school. The courthouse offered a “colored” water fountain, and the movie theater did not welcome him on the lower floor. As Confederate monuments across t
- NBC Sports Chicago
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy tests positive for COVID-19 and special teams coordinator Chris Tabor will take over.