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Jewish center killing leaves 3 dead: Elderly shooter targets Jewish people

Elderly man walked into a Jewish community center and asked people if they were Jewish and started shooting. He killed three people.
Wikimedia Commons / DatDude 1982

An unidentified man in his 70s walked up to people at the Jewish Community Center and asked if they were Jewish before shooting them. The man killed three people and left a teenager fighting for his life in this shooting rampage at two Kansas City area buildings on Sunday. The latest reports indicate that the suspect was taken into custody, according to the L.A. News on April 13.

Reports have the suspect shouting “Heil Hitler” at a TV crew while police were taking him into custody. The shootings took place at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and at the Village Shalom senior living facility. The two buildings are in Overland Park, Kansas, but are separated by a major commercial street. The man first went to the community center then to the senior home.

There is a 14-year-old boy fighting for his life in the hospital today, he was one of the people this elderly man shot. The Kansas City Star reports that the suspect was arrested outside the Valley Park Elementary School, which is nearby the two facilities where the shootings took place. He was taken into custody at about 2:45 p.m. on Sunday. Police reports that he continued making the anti-Semitic statements as he was being led away.

The victims were shot about 1 p.m. local time starting at the community center and then this man kept going. This gunfire started just as hundreds of kids from across the Kansas City area were due to audition for the KC Superstar Contest. There were tons of kids there at the time. Ruth Bigus told the media that the kids were all there because the auditions were due to start at 1 p.m., at the same time this man started taking lives.

When Matt Davis heard about the shooting he ran over to the community center because his daughter was there for the audition. When he got there he saw a “heavy set” man in handcuffs and he was “smiling.”

Police held a press conference at about 6 p.m. on Sunday. They report the suspect is a white male in his 70s and the man is not from the area. The suspect is in custody. There was a shot gun involved in the crime. The crime is being investigated as a hate-crime and as a murder, but police said it is too early to say what charges will come.

The official count of fatalities is three, with two people in the hospital wounded. Two males were killed at the Jewish Community Center and one female was killed at the Village Shalom home for the elderly.