OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Prosecutors have enough evidence to pursue hate-crime charges in the shooting spree that killed three people at a Jewish community center and retirement complex near Kansas City, authorities said Monday, a day after the attack.
Frazier Glenn Cross of Aurora, Mo., a known white supremacist, has not been formally charged in the slayings, but officials said more information about charges was expected Tuesday. Federal prosecutors were moving to put the case before a grand jury.
Police suspect Cross fatally shot two people Sunday afternoon in the parking lot behind the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, then drove to a retirement community where he shot a third person. He was arrested in an elementary school parking lot.
"We have unquestionably determined through the work of law enforcement that this was a hate crime," Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass said, refusing to elaborate on the evidence.
Cross, a former Ku Klux Klan leader who was once the subject of a nationwide manhunt, was being held at the Johnson County jail on a preliminary charge of first-degree murder.
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 Cross had an anti-Semitic motive. The Jewish festival of Passover begins Monday evening.
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. The 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 soon after.