Jewish Center Shootings Deemed “Hate Crimes”
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The shootings that occurred at Jewish community centers on Sunday in Overland Park, Kansas City, were officially classified as “hate crimes,” authorities said Monday, and the shooting suspect has been identified as Frazier Glenn Cross of Aurora, Mo.
Cross, 73, who also goes by the last name Miller, is the founder and former leader of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups.
He is suspected of shooting and killing high school freshman Reat Underwood, 14, who was on his way to an audition, and his grandfather, Dr. Willliam Corporan, 69, outside a Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Ill., on Sunday, the eve of Passover. On Monday, Overland Park Police identified a third victim as Teresa Lamanno, 53. She was shot at Village Shalom, an assisted living facility nearby.
Witnesses told police Cross allegedly yelled a Nazi salute after the shooting Sunday at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park. The shooter then drove to Village Shalom, shooting Lamanno to death before surrendering, police said.
Cross was later recorded screaming “Heil Hitler!” during his arrest.
Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe and U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas Barry Grissom are deciding what charges to file in federal and local courts against Cross, who has not yet been charged.
If the suspected shooter is charged and convicted of a hate crime, under federal law, he could be sentenced with the death penalty. A hate crime charge would apply if the charge is that the defendant was motivated by the victims’ “race, color, religion or national origin.”
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