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Monday
Apr142014

Kansas Jewish Center Shooting Suspect Identified

Jamie Squire/Getty Images(OVERLAND PARK, Kan.) -- The 73-year-old man charged with murder in the shooting at a Jewish community center and retirement community in Overland Park, Kan., that left three people dead Sunday is reportedly the former Grand Dragon of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., of Aurora, Mo., was taken into custody in the parking lot of an elementary school near the scene of the shootings, and was booked on a charge of first degree murder, according to the Johnson County, Kansas, Sheriff's Office.

Cross is an alias for Frazier Glenn Miller, the former KKK leader, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In a statement released Sunday night, the SPLC said it was able to identify Cross as Miller after a phone conversation with Miller's wife, Marge, in which she told them police had come to her home and told her that her husband had been arrested in the shootings.

The address listed by the sheriff's office for Cross is the same address Frazier Glenn Miller used when filing candidate papers to run for Congress in Missouri in 2006 and when he sued the secretary of state for refusing to let him on the ballot.

Among the three people killed in the shootings were a 14-year-old Eagle Scout and his grandfather, according to the family of the two.

"It is with deep sadness that we confirm the tragic loss of Dr. William Lewis Corporon and Reat Griffin Underwood (Losen) who died as a result of the injuries they sustained in today's shooting at the Jewish Community Center. Dr. Corporon was Reat's grandfather, whom he loved very much," said a statement signed "Will Corporon, Son and Uncle."

The two were shot at the town's Jewish Community Center, Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass said. One died at the scene and the other died after being taken to a hospital, he said.

The third victim was a woman who was shot at the Village Shalom retirement community, Douglass said. She died on the scene.

It was believed the shooter fired at two other people, but neither was hit, the police chief said.

"We have no indication that he knew the victims," Douglass said.

"We're investigating it as a hate crime, we're investigating it as a criminal act, we haven't ruled out anything," he added.

"There was a shotgun that was involved," Douglass said. "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."

According to the family statement, Underwood was a freshman at Blue Valley High School, and participated in debate, theatre "and had a beautiful voice. Reat had a passion for life, and touched so many people in his young age." He was an Eagle Scout and "loved spending time camping and hunting with his grandfather, father, and brother," the statement said.

Corporon practiced family medicine in Marlow and Duncan, Okla., from 1976 through 2003, before moving with his wife to the Kansas City area to be closer to their grandchildren, the statement said.

Police had still not released the identities of the victims late Sunday evening, but Rev. Adam Hamilton of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood said the two male victims were members of the church.

Hamilton led prayers for the victims' family Sunday afternoon during Palm Sunday services.

The Jewish Community Center confirmed the shooting on its Facebook page and said it occurred near the Lewis and Shirley White Theater entrance and that the building was put on lockdown. According to the center's website, a production of To Kill a Mockingbird was scheduled to start at 2 p.m.

The center released a statement explaining that the shooting occurred in the parking lot.

"Our hearts go out to the families who have suffered loss on this tragic day," read the statement in part. "Our heartfelt gratitude as well to all those in Kansas City and around the world who have expressed sympathy, concern and support."

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