Kansas City shootings investigated as hate crime

Frazier Glenn Cross

A former Ku Klux Klan leader accused of killing three people in a shooting rampage on Jewish centers in Kansas City on Sunday is well-known to hate- and terror-monitoring groups.

Authorities say they're treating the shootings as a hate crime.

According to groups that monitor hate crimes, 73-year-old Frazier Glenn Cross has never been bashful about espousing anti-Semitic or racist views.

"We are fed up white people, believe me. And we're going to take our country back. White people are third class citizens now," he said in a 2005 interview with NBC affiliate KYTV.

Cross is suspected of opening fire Sunday on people in the parking lot of the Jewish Community Center.

Many fled inside to safety, but Dr. William Lewis Corporon, a well-known physician, was shot and killed. His 14-year-old grandson Reat Griffin Underwood, high school freshman and Eagle Scout, was rushed to a hospital, where he died.

Minutes later, a few blocks away, there was more gunfire, this time outside the Village Shalom Retirement Community. A woman was killed there. She has not been identified.

"There are no other words to describe it, just panic," said one observer.

President Obama offered condolences at an Easter prayer breakfast Monday morning at the White House.

"Nobody should have to worry about their security when gathering," he said.

There is no indication that Cross, who was allegedly armed with a shotgun, knew any of the victims. He reportedly smiled and yelled, "Heil Hitler" once he was in custody.

Last night - mourners of various faiths gathered for a vigil - an occasion even more solemn on the eve of the Jewish observance of Passover.