Man with history of anti-Semitism jailed in fatal shooting of three at Johnson County Jewish centers

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04/15/2014 10:58 AM

05/16/2014 1:08 PM

A 73-year-old southwest Missouri man with a long history of anti-Semitism is suspected of killing two people outside Overland Park’s Jewish Community Center and then a third at a nearby Jewish assisted living facility.

After officers arrested Frazier Glenn Cross — an Aurora, Mo., man better known as F. Glenn Miller — Sunday afternoon, authorities said he went on a rant inside the patrol car. Though Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass wouldn’t say what Cross hollered, a television crew captured him on video while he was handcuffed in the back of the car.

“Heil Hitler,” Miller yelled out, and then he bobbed his head up and down.

Four hours after the shooting rampage was first reported, Douglass said in a news conference that it was too early to know definitively what the shooter’s motives were, but added: “We are investigating this as a hate crime.”

In all, the gunman fired at five people Sunday afternoon, police said, but he missed two of his targets, who were not injured. Police said the man had not only a shotgun but also a handgun and possibly an assault weapon.

Two of the victims who died were shot in a car at the community center, 5801 W. 115th St., Douglass said. One of them was William Lewis Corporon, a Johnson County doctor. The other, Reat Griffin Underwood, was Corporon’s 14-year-old grandson, who died later at Overland Park Regional Medical Center.

The third victim, who was not publicly identified Sunday night was shot and killed in the parking lot of the Village Shalom senior living facility at 5500 W. 123rd St.

By Sunday evening, the Federal Bureau of Investigation had joined the investigation, as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and other agencies. A dispatcher with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department in southwest Missouri where Miller lives said the agency was assisting the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department and FBI in an investigation Sunday night.

Calling the Overland Park shootings “heartbreaking,” President Barack Obama pledged the full support of the federal government. He said he asked his team Sunday to make sure law enforcement has “the necessary resources to support the ongoing investigation.”

Authorities hauled off the suspect’s four-door white car, with Missouri license plates, before 4 p.m. Douglass would not say whether Miller was talking to investigators.

The shootings shook the Kansas City area, especially the local Jewish Community, which was preparing for Monday’s Passover holiday.

Matt Davis, who lives near Valley Park Elementary where police arrested Miller, was shopping with his son for a suit for his upcoming bar mitzvah when he heard about the shooting. Davis was outside the school when Miller was hauled off.

The man was smiling.

“I was wondering, ‘Why is the guy smiling when he’s being arrested,’

” said Davis, whose daughter was inside the Jewish Community Center when the shooting occurred in the parking lot. She and the hundreds of other people inside the center were not injured.

Dispatchers got the first call about shots fired at 1:03 p.m. and sent officers to the center’s parking lot.

People inside had been alerted about the shooting outside.