Rot in hell, Miller
Overland Park police said Frazier Glenn Miller is the founder and former leader of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party.
Both organizations operated as paramilitary groups in the 1980s, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups.
Video from CNN affiliate KMBC showed the suspect sitting in the back of a patrol car and shouting, “Heil Hitler” after the shootings.
Miller, 73, who also goes by Frazier Glenn Cross, faces charges of premeditated first-degree murder. He is expected to appear in court Monday.
If the suspected shooter is charged with a hate crime and convicted, under federal law, the death penalty could be on the table. That would apply if the charge is that the defendant was motivated by the victims’ “race, color, religion or national origin.”
The shootings took place at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park and at the Village Shalom Retirement Community in Leawood — a day before the start of Passover, the major Jewish spring festival.
“The timing is terrible. The timing is awful,” said Rabbi Herbert Mandl, a chaplain for the Overland Park police.
In all, the gunman shot at five people, none of whom he’s believed to have known, said Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass.
Three people died; the other two were not injured.
Authorities arrested the suspect at a nearby elementary school.
Police were investigating statements the man made after his arrest but declined to provide additional details, Douglass said.
The Anti-Defamation League said it warned last week of the increased possibility of violent attacks against community centers in the coming weeks, “which coincide both with the Passover holiday and Hitler’s birthday on April 20, a day around which in the United States has historically been marked by extremist acts of violence and terrorism.”
On Monday, the ADL reissued a security bulletin to synagogues and Jewish communal institutions across the country, urging them to review their security plans for the Passover holiday, which begins at sundown Monday.
‘This has left us all breathless’
The shooting began just after 1 p.m. Sunday in the Jewish community center’s parking lot.
Inside, the center was a hive of activity. A performance of “To Kill a Mockingbird” was about to begin, and auditions were under way for “KC Superstar,” an “American Idol”-style contest for the best high school singer in the Kansas City area.
Outside, the gunman opened fire. Police said he was armed with a shotgun and may have been carrying other weapons.
Reat Griffin Underwood, 14, was coming to audition for the singing competition. His grandfather, William Lewis Corporon, was driving him. The bullets struck them in their car. Both died.
Corporon was a doctor who practiced family medicine in Oklahoma for many years before moving to Kansas City to be closer to his grandchildren.
“He cherished his family,” the family said in a statement.
Reat was a high school freshman who was active in debate, theater and had “a beautiful voice,” his family said.