Kansas Jewish Facilities Shooter Is Former KKK Leader
Kansas police have published the identity of the 73-year-old suspect in Sunday's shootings at two local Jewish institutions that left three dead. The suspect, Fraiser Glenn Cross Jr., is the former Grand Dragon of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
The name Cross is an alias for Fraiser Glenn Miller, former leader of the white supremacist group, according to a Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) statement released Sunday, reports ABC.
SPLC reports having identified the suspect as Miller after a conversation with Miller's wife, Marge, during which she acknowledged police had informed her of her husband's arrest in context of the shootings.
Further, the address listed by local police for Cross is the same one used by Miller when he ran for Congress in Missouri in 2006, and later sued the secretary of state for refusing his candidacy.
Cross had posted at least 12,000 messages on a neo-Nazi internet forum called the Vanguard News Network. Members of the forum celebrated the shooting with a discussion thread that reached nearly 100 posts by early Monday. "3 ain't bad. Hail Hitler brother!!" read one comment.
The shootings took place a day before Passover outside the Overland Park Jewish Community Center (JCC) and at a nearby assisted living residence, Village Shalom. Cross was reportedly arrested in an elementary school parking lot nearby.
Local reports say Cross shouted "heil Hitler" during his arrest, and indeed local KMBC News filmed the arrest and released footage of him apparently yelling the words out from inside a police car.
Two of the victims have been identified
The shooting at the Overland Park JCC took place just outside a theater where local media said 75 people, mostly children, were inside, reports AFP. They had been auditioning for "KC Superstar," a local singing competition based on "American Idol."
While police have yet to release the identities of the victims, a 14-year-old and his grandfather were identified by their family as being among the dead.
The two, Dr. William Lewis Corporon and Reat Griffin Underwood, were killed at the Jewish Community Center, according to a statement signed "Will Corporon, Son and Uncle."
Reat "loved spending time camping and hunting with his Grandfather, Father, and brother," noted the statement. Corporon retired from family medicine in 2003, and moved with his wife to Kansas from Oklahoma to be closer to their grandchildren.
Rev. Adam Hamilton of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood reportedly identified the two as members of his church.
A third victim, shot at Village Shalom, is a woman in her 70s who has yet to be identified.
Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass said "we have no indication that he knew the victims. We're investigating it as a hate crime, we're investigating it as a criminal act, we haven't ruled out anything."
"There was a shotgun that was involved," Douglass added, noting two others were reportedly shot at but unharmed. "We are exploring the possibility that a handgun was involved in the shooting at the two persons that he missed, and we are looking at the possibility of an assault rifle."