Authorities Say Hate Motivated Kansas Shooting

Authorities say there is enough evidence to warrant a hate-crimes prosecution in the shooting spree that killed three people at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement complex near Kansas City.

Frazier Glenn Cross of Aurora, Mo., is jailed in Johnson County, Kan. He has not been formally charged in the killings, but officials said more information about charges was expected Tuesday.

Police say Cross fatally shot two people Sunday afternoon in the parking lot behind the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, then drove to a retirement community where he shot a third person. He was arrested in an elementary school parking lot.

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced at a news conference that enough evidence had been gathered to justify submitting a hate-crimes case to a grand jury.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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We are now learning a man who tried to run for office in our state is the former KKK "grand dragon" accused of killing three people at a Jewish community center outside Kansas City.

Overland Park police said they have Frazier Cross Jr. in custody, and the 73-year-old is a "person of interest" in the fatal shootings.

Investigators said Cross is suspected of opening fire in a parking lot behind the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City on Sunday, hitting two people. A retired physician and his 14-year-old grandson were both killed.

Police said the shooter ran to the nearby Village Shalom, a retirement community, and killed a woman there.

According to information obtained by NBC News from the Southern Poverty Law Center, Cross unsuccessfully ran in the North Carolina Democratic primary for governor in 1984 and as a Republican for a state senate seat in 1987.

Cross was a "grand dragon" of the Carolina Knights in the Ku Klux Klan, according to NBC News.


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A Johnson County jail official says the man accused of killing three people outside of Jewish sites near Kansas City is Frazier Glenn Cross.

The official confirmed that Cross is the suspect in Sunday's attacks in Overland Park. He spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the case publicly.

Public records show that the 73-year-old Cross also goes by the last name Miller. The Southern Poverty Law Center says he has long been an outspoken white supremacist and was once a "grand dragon" of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

The group reports on its website that it spoke to Miller's wife, Marge, by phone Sunday and she said police told her that her husband had been arrested in Sunday's attacks.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)


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A man in his 70s opened fire Sunday outside of a Jewish community center and nearby retirement community, killing three people, authorities said.

Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass said at a news conference Sunday evening that a person who had been reported to be in critical condition earlier was among three killed in the attacks, which apparently occurred minutes apart.

"Today is a sad and very tragic day," Douglass said. "As you might imagine we are only three hours into this investigation. There's a lot of innuendo and a lot of assertions going around. There is really very little hardcore information."

Shots were fired behind the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in a parking lot about 1 p.m., Douglass said. One male died at the scene, another male died at a hospital. The gunman then fled and opened fire at nearby Village Shalom, killing a female, before later being arrested near an elementary school. Two other people were shot at, but the gunfire missed them, Douglass said.

Douglass said it was too early in the investigation to determine if the shootings were hate crimes. The Jewish festival of Passover begins Monday.

"We know it was a vicious act of violence, and we know obviously it was at two Jewish facilities. One might make that assumption," Douglass said.

He described the suspect as a white man in his 70s who is not from Kansas. He said the suspect is being held at the Johnson County Detention Center, but did not provide further information.

"We have no indication he knew the victims," Douglass said, adding that the suspect was not known to Kansas City-area authorities before the shootings. Douglass said a shotgun was used, and investigators were trying to determine whether a handgun and assault-style rifle also were involved.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park posted on its Facebook page Sunday afternoon that a "shooting incident" happened near its White Theater entrance.

"Everyone participating in JCC programming has been released to their homes," the center posted later Sunday.

There was a heavy police presence at the campus, which spans several acres in an affluent area of Johnson County, Kan. Police had also taped off the entrance to Village Shalom on Sunday afternoon, and several patrol cars and a crime scene unit van were parked in front.

St. Louis resident Kristy Straeb, 47, said her sister-in-law Stacie Ventimiglia was at the center's pool with a friend and four little girls under the age of 7 for a swimming lesson, which ended about 12:45 p.m. Straeb said they decided at the last minute to get the girls showered.

"They had just gotten the four babies naked, and somebody yelled into the family locker room, `We have an active shooter situation. You need to get safe,'" Straeb said.

The women got into a cubby area and were "ready to push the little girls into 4 empty lockers," Straeb said. She noted that the women and their children were not harmed and left the center about 2:45 p.m. Sunday.

Auditions for the KC SuperStar competition were scheduled to be held Sunday at the Jewish Community Center. On Sunday afternoon, the website for KC SuperStar, which is a singing competition for high school students, said the auditions were cancelled.

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Authorities say three people died in a shooting at a Jewish community center and retirement community, and two were shot at but not injured.

Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass said at a news conference Sunday that the person who had been reported to be in critical condition was one of the three dead.

Douglass said shots were fired behind the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in a parking lot, and two males died. Shots were reported minutes later at the Village Shalom retirement community, where one female died.

Ages and identities of the victims were not released.

A man in his 70s who is not from Kansas was taken into custody at a nearby school. Douglass did not provide further information.

Douglass said a shotgun was involved.

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Three people are dead following multiple shootings reported at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park and Village Shalom.

Overland Park Police confirm multiple shots were fired at the center, which is located at 5801 W 115th St. and Village Shalom, a retirement home located at 5500 W. 123rd. Both areas are currently on lockdown.

Police took one man into custody at the Valley Park Elementary at 123rd and Nall. The man was heard yelling "heil Hitler" as he was taken into custody.

A 41 Action News photographer on the scene spoke with a man who says another man pointed a gun at him and shot the windows out of his car. That person was not injured.

Police have not confirmed if there are any other victims, or the status of the gunman. But our photographer says he saw someone being taken away in an ambulance.


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