Police apprehended a suspected gunman from a shooting at two Jewish institutions in Kansas which left three people dead earlier Sunday.
Local news outlets reported that the man was heard yelling “Heil Hitler” as police took him into custody. The 70-year-old suspected gunman was not from Kansas, and local police had not encountered him before.
It’s too soon to say whether the shootings were a hate crime, Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass told reporters at a press conference.
The shootings took place outside the Overland Park Jewish Community Center (JCC) and at a nearby assisted living residence, Village Shalom.
Given the timing, a day before Pesach, and location of the attack, law enforcement officers are considering the potentially anti-Semitic nature of the attacks, but its simply too early to tell. "We know it's a vicious act of violence. Obviously, at two Jewish facilities, one might make that assumption, but we're going to have to know more about it," Douglass said.
Authorities arrested the suspect at a nearby elementary school after the shootings, Douglass said, which is several blocks from Village Shalom.
Police, in conjunction with the FBI, are investigating subsequent statements that the suspect made in the car after his arrest, Douglass added.
The shootings, which started at around 1 pm, left three people dead. CNN reports that Rabbi Herbert Mandl, a chaplain for the Overland Park Police Department, said the victims included a teenager and an elderly woman.
The Jewish Community Center was put in lockdown after the shooting, and is now closed through Monday.