Alleged Jewish center gunman charged with murder

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Frazier Glenn Miller Jr.

(CNN) — A man suspected of killing three people at two Jewish-affiliated facilities in Kansas has been charged with one count of capital murder and one count of first-degree premeditated murder, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Police say Frazier Glenn Cross is the suspect in Sunday’s shooting death of a boy and his grandfather outside a Jewish community center near Kansas City, Kansas, and then a woman at a nearby Jewish assisted living facility.

The capital murder count is connected to the deaths of William Lewis Corporon and Reat Griffin Underwood, said Steve Howe, district attorney for Johnson County. The premeditated murder count is linked to the death of Terri LaManno, he said.

Hate crime charges are possible, as police investigators say they have “unquestionably determined” that his actions were a hate crime, Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass said.

But no hate crime charges were announced Tuesday.

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said that federal prosecutors are still collecting evidence and that federal charges could come later.

Legal experts say hate crime charges are possible, even though the victims were Christian.

The capital murder charge carries the possibility of a life sentence or the death penalty. No decision on whether to seek the death penalty for Cross has been made yet, Howe said.

Cross 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. Both organizations operated as paramilitary groups in the 1980s, according to the SPLC.

In the 73-year-old’s anti-Semitic and white-supremacist activities, he has also used the name Frazier Glenn Miller, the SPLC said.

After he was apprehended at a nearby elementary school, Cross sat in the back of a patrol car and shouted “Heil Hitler!” video from CNN affiliate KMBC shows.

He obtained firearms from a “straw buyer,” a middleman with a clean record who could buy weapons legally and then sell or give them to Cross, allowing Cross to avoid federal background checks, a U.S. law enforcement official said. He had three guns when he was arrested Sunday, authorities said.

The shootings took place at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and the Village Shalom Retirement Community in Overland Park a day before the start of Passover, a major Jewish holiday.

The police chief said the gunman shot at five people, none of whom he is believed to have known. There were no other injuries, authorities said.

Police were investigating statements Cross made after his arrest but declined to provide additional details, Douglass said.

The Anti-Defamation League said it warned last week of the increased possibility of violent attacks against community centers in the coming weeks, “which coincide both with the Passover holiday and Hitler’s birthday on April 20, a day around which in the United States has historically been marked by extremist acts of violence and terrorism.”

On Monday, the ADL reissued a security bulletin to synagogues and Jewish communal institutions across the country, urging them to review their security plans for the Passover holiday, which began at sundown Monday.

‘That idiot … knocked a family to its knees’

The shooting began just after 1 p.m. Sunday in the Jewish community center’s parking lot.

Inside, the center was a hive of activity. A performance of “To Kill a Mockingbird” was about to begin, and auditions were under way for “KC Superstar,” an “American Idol”-style contest for the best high school singer in the Kansas City area.

Outside, the gunman opened fire. Police said he was armed with a shotgun and may have been carrying other weapons. Reat, 14, was there to audition for the singing competition. His grandfather, Corporon, was driving him. The bullets struck them in their car. Both died.

“That idiot absolutely knocked a family to its knees for no reason,” Reat’s uncle and William’s son, Will Corporon, said at a news conference Monday afternoon.

Grandfather and grandson were Methodists, their pastor, the Rev. Adam Hamilton, told CNN on Monday.

A woman caring for her mother

The gunman then drove to the retirement home, where he shot the third victim in the parking lot. Authorities identified her as LaManno, who was visiting her mother as she usually did every Sunday at Village Shalom.

LaManno’s Catholic church, St. Peter’s Parish, posted a message on its website calling LaManno “a loving mother and wife, and a gentle and giving woman.”

The Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired in Kansas City, where LaManno worked as an occupational therapist, described her as a “gracious, generous, skilled and deeply caring individual who made a great difference in the lives of so many children and their families.”

‘A raging anti-Semite’

Cross is a “raging anti-Semite” who has posted extensively in online forums that advocate exterminating Jews, the Southern Poverty Law Center said.

He has called Jews “swarthy, hairy, bow-legged, beady-eyed, parasitic midgets.”

According to the SPLC, Cross founded and ran the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1980s. He was forced to shut down after the SPLC sued him for operating an illegal paramilitary organization and intimidating African-Americans.

He then formed another group, the White Patriot Party.

In the late 1980s, Cross spent three years in prison on weapons charges and for plotting the assassination of SPLC founder Morris Dees. The short sentence was a result of a plea bargain he struck with federal prosecutors. In exchange, he testified against 14 white supremacists in a sedition trial in Arkansas in 1988.

“He was reviled in white supremacist circles as a ‘race traitor,’ and, for a while, kept a low profile,” according to an SPLC profile of him. “Now he’s making a comeback with The Aryan Alternative, a racist tabloid he’s been printing since 2005.”

By Saeed Ahmed, Ashley Fantz and Catherine E. Shoichet

CNN’s George Howell, Matthew Stucker, Nick Valencia, Janet DiGiacomo, Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz and Don Lemon contributed to this report.

19 comments

  • ASHinSTL

    This is what unfounded, hate filled beliefs lead to! Teaching xenophobia should be a punishable offense and not tax exempt.

    • Steven Sweeney

      Left wing radicals are nothing new.Since the days of dems under hoods and sheets to the middle eastern terrorists today. It’s a shame they are not stopped until after they have done their damage.

    • Steven Sweeney

      Xenophobia is fear of foreigners..Perhaps you should read a book before spreading hate..If you don’t like the 1st amendment, go chickenhead in a commie country like stalin and adolph did..( both athiests BTW)

      • Steven Sweeney

        And ASh, telling somebody to kill themselves because you disagree politically? That’s low, even for somebody like you.You better hope there’s no God, being an unethical lowlife like that.I would say hang your head in shame, but you OBVIOUSLY have no morals or character..

  • ASHinSTL

    Now, define ‘foreigner’. Whichever of the 2 definitions you choose I will and can within 3 minutes find posts on this forum from you that support my claim 100%. By all means, Steven, feel free to do this. I in fact implore you!

    One was of your ilk and the other did none of his atrocities in “the name of atheism”. He was a dictator… its kind of prerequisite that one many fall at his hand. Educate yourself. Don’t parrot your creationist drivel while continuing to display your massive propensity toward xenophobia you uneducated, pedantic child.

    As for god, should he be real and you’ve managed to pick the correct one out of the thousands man has posited, you should be golden. You’re the only person I’ve encountered in all my years that I find more vile than the character you see fit to worship. I’m not worried however. When faith is required by some entity, that alone should be evidence enough to the reasoned and honest of the nonsensical nature of the claims. This is not a requirement true being hold. I’d let the god thing go were I you. You’re in over your depth by yards and already and drowning. This is a endeavor you’re sure to crawl away from regretting have chosen. Don’t play religion with me, it’ll not end well for you.

    Finally, to what I suggested you do with your life… I’d don’t care what an under informed, hateful, childlike bigot has to say upon anything I’d do, ever. Consider yourself… godly in this instant. For your god and you are the only two characters I’d say such about. So, at least you’ve got that goin for yourself.

  • Steven Sweeney

    Technically, it’s a fear of aliens.Illegals, not little green men.Funny how libs like you can never dispute facts, but mudsling just fine.Like a true lib, when presented with facts, you go in the gutter.Apt place for you. Your vocabulary should include sanctimonious, and hypocritical telling people to kill themselves just because they don’t share your warped viewpoint.Liberal tolerance is an oxymoron, and you proved that.Nothing I stated was untrue, yet you’re so mad because it’s not your viewpoint.TOUGH! Instead of your incessant whining about religions, learn ANOTHER topic.Using words you heard on frasier don’t make you an intellect, (obviously your history knowledge doesn’t) but by having knowledge of facts when making a viewpoint.Not stamping your wittle feet and having a tantrum, but that’s the lib way isn’t it?Congrats on being yet another liberal hypocrite that cannot have a civil or adult discussion on any issue.Probably Bush’s fault huh? LIbs are the reason for the majority of problems in this country and you prove that.

    • ASHinSTL

      No. Its not fear of aliens or illegals, you idiot. You present a fact, supported by evidence and I’ll address it. You’ve never done so in the months of watching your hate filled diatribes. Projection much?

    • ASHinSTL

      “Gott Mit Uns” google it. Make use of your life today and learn something for the 1st time since the 3rd grade bathroom lesson. As for TV… I leave that to you. I learn about reality. I go to school. That’s right. I’m far closer to your age than I am to your kids age and unlike you, I prefer to know of what I speak when I do so. I have a shame in being wrong and ignorant. Somehow, you’ve not this quality about you at all!? Meh, it is fun to poke at you and hopefully get that ticker racin and click off a few extra clicks each day… just doing my part for society as a whole.

      • Steven Sweeney

        you also excuse the genocide of millions as “part of the deal” which shows what a pile of human garbage you truly are. You know you’re a coward hiding behind a lame alias , while ranting and forcing athiesm into any conversation to placate your daddy issues.I could care less what a loudmouth hypocrite d bag like you thinks, because you can’t factually back up any argument.This is why you embrace athiesm, because there is no proven answer. You must be the alex trebek of your trailer park.Just kidding, I doubt you ever left mommy’s low class teet, or the taxpayers for that much.

    • ASHinSTL

      You complain about people not dealing with the facts presented. You couldn’t even look up the information provided you? That’s rich.

      You, the christian, are the only one in this that condones and makes excuses genocide, even if only in fairy tale.

      And no, I own my home outright. Paid in full when I sold my graphic design business a number years back. I don’t have count on you, the government or anyone else to care for me or my family, ever. I made my way up in this system and gladly do my part to help those who have a desire to make their life better as I did in the same system. See what hard work can do in this country? and I know you know what being content with being a rent-a-cop or the person who stocks the tampons at the Wal Mart can do in this country. I’m not knocking the positions… take pride in what you do and who you are and we certainly need people willing to do those jobs. But let us not try and up-sell the contributions you and yours are making to greater good of society in what… Fenton, Wright City, Bellville? Even you have enough reason to see this.

      Now move along. You’re only making yourself look an absolute fool with each ignorant rant you angrily mash into your Acer.

  • Steven Sweeney

    You excuse the genocide of millions of “chosen people” with your prerequisite excuse.I guess ash stands for: Anti-Semitic-Hoosier! Perhaps you and casey Bug could cruise the Sarasota hood in Mom’s minivan, pulling into drive thrus to rant about athiesm into the clown speaker..But then you wouldn’t like Florida: Too many of “those chosen people” and you already denied their holocaust.Only difference between you and the KC shooter: he didn’t spam this blog with athiesm rants..

Comments are closed.