OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The man accused of killing three people in attacks at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement complex near Kansas City is a known white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader who was once the subject of a nationwide manhunt.
Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, of Aurora, Mo., was booked into Johnson County jail on a preliminary charge of first-degree murder after the attacks in Overland Park on Sunday.
At a news conference Sunday afternoon, Overland Park police Chief John Douglass declined to publicly identify the man suspected in the attacks. But an official at a suburban Kansas City jail, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the case, identified the suspect as Cross.
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" during the attacks. He also said it was too early in the investigation to determine whether he had an anti-Semitic motive. The Jewish festival of Passover begins Monday evening.
"We are investigating it as a hate crime. We're investigating it as a criminal act. We haven't ruled out anything," he said.
SITE, a U.S.-based terror monitoring group, described the suspect as a known and vocal anti-Semite who frequently calls for genocide against Jews.
Police said the attacks happened within minutes of one another. At around 1 p.m. a gunman shot two people in the parking lot behind the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. He then drove a few blocks to a retirement community, Village Shalom, and gunned down a woman or girl there, Douglass said. Officers arrested him in an elementary school parking lot a short time later.
Police said the gunman never entered any buildings. Douglass said the gunman also shot at but missed two other people.