Nazi: Cross, also known by the surname Miller, was leader of White Patriot Party and is pictured at a training camp in western North Carolina in 1985
- 73-year-old Frazier Glenn Cross – or Frazier Glenn Miller – was taken into custody Sunday afternoon in Kansas City
- He has been booked on a charge of first degree murder
- Christians Dr. William Lewis Corporan and his grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, 14, were killed in the shootings
- A woman was also shot dead, but she hasn’t been identified
- Police are investigating a potential hate-crime after the alleged shooter screamed out support for the Nazi leader
- Kansas City is home to a 20,000 strong Jewish community
- The shooter killed at two locations – a community center and retirement Jewish home – the day before Passover
- The suspect has a long history of KKK involvement and anti-Semitism and he ran for Congress in the 1980s for the White Patriot Party
Published: 20:32, 13 April 2014 | Updated: 15:14, 14 April 2014
Father-of-five Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, was arrested at around 2:45p.m. and was booked on first degree murder charges, according to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. The suspect has a long history of KKK involvement and anti-Semitism under the name Frazier Glenn Miller.
Police said Miller, who served two tours in Vietnam as an Army Master Sergeant, shot dead two people – Dr. William Lewis Corporan and his grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood – in the senseless attack outside a Jewish community center in Overland Park, Kansas City.
Minutes later, Miller allegedly shot and killed a woman in an attack at Jewish retirement community, Village Shalom, a few blocks away. Authorities haven’t released the name of the third victim.
Officials said they don’t think Miller knew the victims. They have declined to say if they think the attack was motivated by anti-Semitism but they are investigating the possibility it was a hate crime.
Miller is not from Kansas City and was carrying a handgun when he was arrested, though he used a shotgun in the rampage. He also reportedly had possession of an assault weapon.
Miller, who is also a retired truck driver, was accosted by police and reportedly screamed out ‘Heil Hilter’ as he was led away. He was taken into custody outside Valley Park Elementary.
In the 1980s, the Aurora, Missouri, man was the ‘grand dragon’ of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and subsequently a founder of the White Patriot Party, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups.
The group said he’d been in the KKK movement nearly his entire life.
The SPLC said in a statement Sunday evening said he served three years in prison on weapons charges and for plotting the assassination of SPLC founder Morris Dees. As part of a plea bargain, Miller testified against other Klan leaders in a 1988 sedition trial.
His party, which dissolved when he went to jail in 1987, was avowedly pro-Apartheid, and openly advocated the establishment of an all-White ethnostate in the territory of the American South.
Former FBI informant Todd Blogett told MailOnline Miller was under surveillance for decades because of his involvement in the far-right groups.
He also claimed Miller was linked to a series of robberies in the early 1980s, where the stolen funds were distributed within the White Supremacy movement.
One incident involved the robbery of an armoured car in Ukiah, California, where £2million was distributed to members of various right-wing extremist groups.
He also ran for congress in North Carolina and Missouri, and also sought nomination for Governor in North Carolina for the Democratic party.
In 1999, he wrote an autobiography called A White Man Speaks Out, where he sent a message to ‘white youths’ telling them to keep their ‘race pure’.
In 2003, he moved to Missouri. Three years later, Miller distributed a racist newsletter called The White Patriot to at least 16 homes in Costa Mesa, California. Much of the content was reportedly protesting immigration and the front page headline proclaimed, ‘Invasion!’
The publication included articles by Miller, and former KKK leader David Duke, as well as a recommended reading list which included ‘Mein Kampf,’ and ‘The Turner Diaries,’ a racist novel.
On Miller’s ranting website, he writes: ‘He who has learned the jew, but refuses to warn his kinsmen of the jewish menace, is an accomplice of the jews, and an accessory in the jewish enslavement and genocide of his own people.’
He has posted more than 12,000 times on Vanguard News Network, whose slogan is ‘No Jews, Just Right.’
In a 2010 interview with Howard Stern, the radio shock jock, who is Jewish, Mr. Miller was asked who he hated more, Jews or African-Americans. Mr. Miller answered ‘Jews. A thousand times more. Compared to our Jewish problem, all other problems are mere distractions.’
He claimed Jews controlled the federal government, mass media and the Federal Reserve Bank. ‘And with those powers, they’re committing genocide against the white race,” he said.
In the same interview, he called Adolf Hitler ‘the greatest man who ever walked the earth.’
The Southern Poverty Law Center said it spoke with Miller’s wife, Marge, Sunday evening and she told them police had come to her home and told her that her husband had been arrested in the shootings.
Marge reportedly told the SPLC that Miller had gone to a local casino in Missouri Saturday afternoon and called Sunday morning at about 10:30a.m. to tell her his ‘winnings were up’ and all was well.
She said she had not heard from him since, but police came to her door at 8:30p.m. to inform her of his arrest.
‘We are investigating it as a hate crime,’ said Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass in a Sunday afternoon press conference. Investigators, however, do not yet have a motive for the shootings and Douglass said it was too early to know for sure if the rampage was about religion.
‘We know it was a vicious act of violence, and we know obviously it was at two Jewish facilities. One might make that assumption,’ he said.
Corporon had taken Reat to the community center to audition for KC Superstars, which was being held at the center’s theater.
The doctor practiced family medicine in Marlow and Duncan Oklahoma, retiring in 2003. He and his wife of 49 years moved to the Kansas City area to be closer to their grandchildren.
The statement described Corporon as a devoted family man who cherished his family more than anything.
The teen was a freshman at Blue Valley High School who enjoyed debating, theatre, and had a beautiful voice, the family statement reads. He was also an Eagle Scout.
The boy and his grandfather regularly went camping and hunting together. They attended the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, according to KansasCity.com.
Douglass said they were shot at in a car at the community center. One was pronounced dead at the scene and the other died in hospital.
President Barack Obama called the shooting horrific in a statement the White House released late Sunday.
‘This afternoon we heard reports of a horrific shooting in Overland Park, Kansas,’ he said.
‘Michelle and I offer our thoughts and prayers to the families and friends who lost a loved one and everyone affected by this tragedy. I have asked my team to stay in close touch with our federal, state and local partners and provide the necessary resources to support the ongoing investigation.
‘While we do not know all of the details surrounding today’s shooting, the initial reports are heartbreaking. I want to offer my condolences to all the families trying to make sense of this difficult situation and pledge the full support from the federal government as we heal and cope during this trying time.’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also gave his condolences to the families of the victims.
‘We are condemning the murder which according to all signs was committed because of hatred of Jews,’ he said in a statement.
The Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park posted on its Facebook page that a ‘shooting incident’ happened near its White Theater entrance and the building is on lockdown.
‘Everyone participating in JCC programming has been released to their homes,’ the center posted later Sunday.
The FBI is also investigating the shootings.
There was a heavy police presence at the campus, which spans several acres in an affluent area of Johnson County, Kansas. The entrance to the campus was blocked off.
Auditions for the KC SuperStar competition were scheduled to be held Sunday at the Jewish Community Center. On Sunday afternoon, the website for KC SuperStar, which is a singing competition for high school students, said the auditions were cancelled.
‘There were tons of kids because this was about to start at 1 o’clock,’ the publicist for KC SuperStar, Ruth Bigus, told Kansascity.com.
People were also exercising in the center’s gym, and Kansas City’s only Jewish community day school, the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, which is located in the center, was preparing for a school dance.
The second shooting was reported at Village Shalom, which is an assisted living center at 5500 West 123rd St. Two other people were shot at but the gunfire missed them, police said.
The victim at the retirement home was reportedly an elderly woman who was shot as she walked out of Village Shalom, officials said.
The screaming suspect was taken into custody at the Valley View Park Elementary School, which is a mile away from Village Shalom. Footage of the bearded man was aired on KSHB.
KCTV5’s Bonyen Lee said Miller appeared to yell ‘Heil Hitler’ as he was being led away in handcuffs by Overland Park police.
‘The suspect in the back of a car made several statements,’ Douglass said. ‘We are sifting through and vetting those for accuracy, number one, and number two we are looking at them for their evidentiary value.’
Cross is being held at the Johnson County Detention Center.
‘We have no indication he knew the victims,’ Douglass said, adding that the suspect was not known to Kansas City-area authorities before the shootings.
The gunman appeared to single out Jewish victims, Rabbi Herbert Mandl told CNN.
‘Asking someone if you are Jewish before shooting sounds very much like a hate crime,’ Mandl said.
Phyllis Cantor, who is undergoing rehabilitation at Village Shalom, said she heard the sound of sirens.
A reporter with NBC affiliate KSHB said that one of their photographers spoke on scene with a man who says another man pointed a gun at him and shot the windows out of his car.
That person was not injured.
Witness Mike Metcalf recalled the frightening scene at the Jewish Community Center.
‘My son and I were walking into the Jewish Community Center this afternoon for an umpire clinic, around the westside and all of the sudden we heard a gunshot, a pretty loud gunshot,’ said Metcalf.
‘I turned to look to my right and I can see a man standing outside a car with a shotgun, what to me looked like a shotgun, and there was somebody laying on the ground.’
Metcalf said he yelled at his son to run as fast as he could.
St. Louis resident Kristy Straeb, 47, said her sister-in-law Stacie Ventimiglia was at the center’s pool with a friend and four little girls under the age of 7 for a swimming lesson, which ended about 12:45 p.m. Straeb said they decided at the last minute to get the girls showered.
‘They had just gotten the four babies naked, and somebody yelled into the family locker room, “We have an active shooter situation. You need to get safe,”‘ Straeb said.
The women got into a cubby area and were ‘ready to push the little girls into 4 empty lockers,’ Straeb said. She noted that the women and their children were not harmed and left the center about 2:45 p.m. Sunday.
Police ramped up security at other Jewish sites and synagogues across the Kansas City metro area after the rampage.
However, Douglass said there were no threats made against Jewish targets.
‘This was totally unexpected,’ Douglass said. It’s unclear if the shooter specifically chose to carry out the attack on the Sunday before Passover.
‘Today is a sad and very tragic day,’ Douglass said. ‘As you might imagine we are only hours into this investigation. There’s a lot of innuendo and a lot of assertions going around. There is really very little hardcore information.’
Many non-Jewish people regularly were involved in the community center’s many activities.
Bailey Wainestock, 16, was one of nine teenagers attending a youth organization meeting at the community center when the shooting took place. They barricaded the door and remained locked in for more than an hour until security officers rushed them out.
‘We didn’t know what to think, we were all in shock,’ Bailey Wainestock told Reuters.
Her father, David Wainestock, who rushed to the Jewish center to retrieve his daughter, said the situation was terrifying.
‘It’s pretty traumatic,’ David Wainestock said. ‘The thought of something like that happening is terrifying. ‘In the Midwest we think we’re safe from this type of thing. But I guess it doesn’t make any difference now.’
Rabbi David Glickman, of the Beth Shalom Synagogue in Overland Park, also rushed to the Jewish Community Center when he heard the news of the shooting.
‘This is so abberational. Everybody is shocked that it would happen here,’ said Glickman. ‘This is a community that enjoys very strong and positive relations between the Jewish community and the rest of the community.’
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback called the shootings ‘senseless.’
‘We will pursue justice aggressively for these victims,’ Brownback said in a statement.