Jewish Center Shooting Officially Classified a 'Hate Crime'

Authorities say suspect is a well-known white supremacist and KKK leader.

ByABC News
April 14, 2014, 7:45 AM

April 14, 2014— -- The shooting rampage outside two Jewish community centers over the weekend was officially classified a "hate crime" today by authorities.

The third victim of the mass shooting, which happened on the eve of Passover, was identified today by Overland Park, Ill., police as Teresa Lamanno, 53. The other two victims had been identified Sunday as high school freshman Reat Underwood, 14, and his grandfather Dr. William Corporon, 69.

The alleged perpetrator of the crime was identified as Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, who also goes by the last name Miller.

“No one thinks they are going to have funerals to plan and no one believes this will happen to you, to your family," Will Corporon said about the deaths of his father and nephew.

Underwood's mother said her son was "up and coming," was cherished by his friends and loved acting.

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"He had a really full life for a 14-year-old," Mindy Corporon said. "It’s going to be really hard. Because I have faith, I know that God did not do this."

The man police said they believe is responsible for the shooting, Cross, has been a well-known white supremacist for decades who served time in prison in the 1980s.

Witnesses told police Cross allegedly yelled a Nazi salute after the shooting Sunday in Overland Park. The shooter then drove to a nearby Jewish assisted-living facility, shooting another victim to death before surrendering, police said.

Crossr was later recorded screaming "Heil Hitler!" during his arrest.

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe and U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas Barry Grissom are deciding what charges to file in federal and local courts against Cross, who has not yet been charged.

Shooting on Eve of Passover

The shooting spree started outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, where parents and their children were gathering for a singing contest and another event. Cross was armed with at least one shotgun and was allegedly shooting at people in the parking lot, witnesses say.

Overland Park police Chief John Douglass spoke at a news conference Sunday, saying the investigation is far from complete.

"Today is a sad and very tragic day," Douglass said.

Jenessa Watkins said she witnessed the shooting.

"It was really scary. I mean, people are calling their loved ones,” Watkins said.

Grandfather and grandson, who relatives said were each other's constant sidekicks, were hit almost immediately by the gunfire. Two other would-be victims were able to dodge the bullets and run inside, officials said.

Angela Wright, a classmate of Underwood’s, attended choir with the victim. Wright cried as she remembered her friend. “He was a beautiful person who didn’t deserve to have this happen to him,” Wright said.

“He brought smiles to everybody and he would talk to anybody no matter who they were friends with, or popularity or anything … I hope he’s singing in Heaven with all the angels, because he had the voice of an angel.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.