(JTA) — The shooting rampage at two Jewish institutions in suburban Kansas City illustrates the dilemma of how best to protect Jewish institutions from the threat of deadly violence by extremists acting alone.
“Lone wolves are really by far the most dangerous phenomenon. They are vastly more difficult to stop in advance of their actions,” said Mark Potok, the publications director for the Southern Poverty Law Center. “You can’t simply follow around all the people in the United States who have noxious views.”
The shooter was identified as Frazier Glenn Miller, a 73-year-old white supremacist. Despite his well-documented ties to racist groups, Miller apparently acted alone.
Vigilance on the part of communal institutions is key, said Paul Goldenberg, who directs the Secure Community Network, the security arm of national Jewish groups.
“The only way is to stop the lone wolf is prevention and hardening a soft target,” Goldenberg said.
Miller is suspected of killing a man and his grandson on Sunday in the parking lot of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kan., and then shooting to death a woman at Village Shalom, a Jewish assisted-living facility a few blocks away, where she was visiting her mother.
After Miller, also known as Frazier Glenn Cross, was placed in a police vehicle, he was heard to yell “heil Hitler.”
The family of the victims killed at the JCC were William Lewis Corporon, a retired physician, and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood. Corporon and Underwood, members of an area Methodist church, were hit by bullets as they were in a car. Underwood, an aspiring singer, was at the JCC for a talent show, family told local media.
The third victim, Terri LaManno, a Catholic mother of two, was killed in the Village Shalom parking lot.
None of the victims were Jewish. But this was not the first time a JCC has been targeted by a lone gunman.