LATEST: White Supremacist Accused in Kansas Jewish Center Shootings
A former KKK member is accused of fatally shooting three people outside a Jewish community center and nearby retirement community near Kansas City. Associated Press reported that authorities in Overland Park, Kan., had identified the suspected gunman as 73-year-old Frazier Glenn Cross, aka Frazier Glenn Miller.
Miller reportedly was yelling "Heil Hitler" in the back of a police car after he was arrested Sunday afternoon.
Two of the victims were a Christian grandfather and his grandson, who had gone to the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City so that the 14-year-old could try out for a singing competition. Dr. William Lewis Corporon died in the parking lot of the Jewish center, while his grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, died of his injuries at the hospital, the family said in a statement.
Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. sat down with Steve Doocy this morning to go over the next legal steps, including hate crime charges and the possibility of the death penalty.
Watch the discussion above and read more details below from FoxNews.com:
The Kansas City Star reported that Miller was booked into the Johnson County jail on suspicion of premeditated first-degree murder Sunday evening, but had not been formally charged. The paper reported that public records showed that Cross is a resident of Aurora, Mo., a small town southwest of Springfield.
A dispatcher with the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department told the Star Sunday that local authorities were working with Johnson County authorities and the FBI. A woman who answered the phone at a number listed for Frazier Glenn Miller told the paper she did not know where he was and then started to cry.
The Southern Poverty Law Center reported on its website that it spoke to Miller's wife, Marge, by phone Sunday and she said police told her that her husband had been arrested in Sunday's attacks.
According to the law center, Miller has been involved in the white supremacist movement for most of his life. He founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and was its "grand dragon" in the 1980s before the center sued him for operating an illegal paramilitary organization and using intimidation tactics against blacks. He later founded another white supremacist group, the White Patriot Party.
Miller, an Army veteran and retired truck driver, was the subject of a nationwide manhunt in 1987 after he violated the terms of his bond while appealing a North Carolina conviction for operating a paramilitary camp. The search ended after federal agents found Miller and three other men in an Ozark mobile home, which was filled with hand grenades, automatic weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Miller tried running for U.S. House in 2006 and the U.S. Senate in 2010.
At a news conference earlier Sunday, Overland Park police chief John Douglass said the suspect was not known to area law enforcement and there was no indication that he knew his victims.
The family of two of the three people who died in the shooting released a statement Sunday identifying them as Dr. William Lewis Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood. They were both Christian, and the family thanked members of their church congregation, among other people, for their support.
"We take comfort knowing they are together in Heaven," the family said. It asked for privacy to mourn.
Rebecca Sturtevant, a spokeswoman for Overland Park Regional Medical Center, where Reat was taken and where he died, said family members said Corporon and the boy were at the community center so that the high school freshman could try out for KC SuperStar, a singing competition for students.
Douglass said the suspect made several statements to police, "but it's too early to tell you what he may or may not have said." He also said it was too early in the investigation to determine whether there was an anti-Semitic motive for the attacks or if they will be investigated as hate crimes. The Jewish festival of Passover begins Monday.
"We are investigating it as a hate crime. We're investigating it as a criminal act. We haven't ruled out anything. ... Again, we're three hours into it," he said.
Douglass said the suspect first opened fire in the parking lot behind the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. Corporon died at the scene and his grandson later died at the hospital. The chief said the suspect then drove to the nearby retirement community, Village Shalom, where he shot and killed a woman or girl. The gunman also shot at two other people during the attacks, but missed them, Douglass said.
Douglass said a shotgun was used in the attacks, and that investigators are also trying to determine if a handgun and assault-style rifle may also have been used.