A smirking gunman who reportedly shouted Nazi slogans opened fire at a Jewish community center and an old-age home in a suburb of Kansas City, killing three people.
The gunman, later identified as notorious white supramacist Frazier Glenn Cross, singled out Jewish victims for death, Rabbi Herbert Mandl, a chaplain with the Overland Park Police Department, told CNN.
“Asking someone if you are Jewish before shooting sounds very much like a hate crime,” Mandl said.
Police said two people were killed at the JCC of Greater Kansas City, where children were auditioning for a musical. Despite Mandl’s assertion, the JCC victims were identified as churchgoing teen Reat Griffin Underwood, 14, and his grandfather, William Lewis Corporon.
Rev. Adam Hamilton shared the tragic news at an evening Palm Sunday service at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan., where both victims were congregants, the Kansas City Star reported.
“Help us, oh, Lord to grieve as people of hope,” Hamilton told congregants, the paper said.
The third victim, a woman, was shot at Village Shalom, an assisted living facility about a mile away from the JCC. The victim at the retirement home was an elderly woman who was shot as she walked out of Village Shalom, Mandl said.
Police said two other people were fired upon but not hit.
President Barack Obama offered condolences. “While we do not know all of the details… the initial reports are heartbreaking,” he said in a statement.
“It was an act of violence, it’s too early to label it,” said Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass. “We’re investigating it as a (possible) hate crime. We’re investigating it as a criminal act.”