Shooting victim Terri LaManno remembered as kind 'beautiful soul'

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04/14/2014 1:45 PM

05/16/2014 1:08 PM

Terri and Jim LaManno planned to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary Tuesday. But on Sunday, as Terri LaManno made her regular weekly visit to see her mother at an Overland Park assisted living center, she was caught in what authorities say was a hate-inspired killing spree that left her and two other people dead.

Though killed outside of Jewish facilities in Overland Park, all three victims were members of Christian denominations.

Shortly after the shootings, police arrested a man who has espoused anti-Semitic views for years. State and federal officials are conducting a dual investigation into what they said Monday were, unequivocally, hate crimes.

Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., 73, of Aurora, Mo., also known as Frazier Glenn Cross, could be charged as soon as Tuesday in Johnson County District Court, where he probably will face murder counts. Miller will face hate-crime charges in federal court, based on allegations that he was motivated by bias, said Barry Grissom, the U.S. attorney for Kansas.

Reat Griffin Underwood, 14, and his grandfather, William Lewis Corporon, 69, were killed about 1 p.m. outside the Jewish Community Center. LaManno, 53, of Kansas City, was killed at the Village Shalom assisted living facility in Overland Park. She was a Catholic.

Her daughter Alissa, who attends Missouri State University in Springfield, released a written statement Monday on behalf of family members and asked for privacy while they grieve.

“My mom was a beautiful soul. She always thought of everyone before herself. The world needs more people like her. She was the best mother, wife, sister and friend that anyone could ask for.”

LaManno also has an older daughter, Jennifer, and a son, Gian, who attends Kansas State University.

Brian Fowler, a lawyer and longtime family friend, said Terri LaManno’s two sisters were visiting their mother at the time of the incident and didn’t realize that their sister had been shot outside the facility.

Fowler described Terri LaManno as a “beautiful lady” who was devoted to her husband and children.

LaManno worked as an occupational therapist at the

Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired

in Kansas City. She worked with children and their families in their homes and provided constant “support and compassion,” said co-worker and friend Amanda Daniels.

“Terri acted out of kindness and gratitude in everything she did,” Daniels said.

Many of the children’s families were dealing with emotionally trying situations, and LaManno always strove to find ways to help them, Daniels said.

“Terri never gave up on anybody,” she said. “She did an amazing job in helping families in their journeys.”

The LaMannos are longtime parishioners at

St. Peter’s Catholic Church

in Kansas City, where a rosary was said for Terri LaManno after Monday morning Mass. Pastor Steve Cook asked parishioners to remember LaManno and her family in their prayers.

“She was a loving mother and wife, and a gentle and giving woman,” a statement released by the church said. “She will be greatly missed by our community. St. Peter’s parish family is coming together to support and comfort Terri’s family and all who loved her, during this very difficult time.

“Our prayers are with the families of the other victims, and all who have been touched by this senseless tragedy. We ask God’s special blessing on our Jewish brothers and sisters as they approach their sacred season of Passover.

“As we enter our Holy Week, we take courage from the promise of Christ’s resurrection. We pray for peace and all those who suffer from violence. We thank all those who have expressed their support for Terri and her family, and ask for their continued support and prayers.”

The Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired also released a statement Monday morning:

“The Kansas City community has experienced a great loss. Terri LaManno, occupational therapist at CCVI for eight years, was a victim of the senseless shooting yesterday at Village Shalom. Terri was a gracious, generous, skilled, and deeply caring individual who made a great difference in the lives of so many children and their families with whom she worked at CCVI. She will forever be missed by all of us in the CCVI family.”