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Shooting at Jewish Community centers, casualties reported

Several shootings at Jewish Community centers in Overland Park, Kansas on Sunday left at least three people dead. Police have confirmed there is one suspected gunman in custody.

A suspected gunman was taken into police custody at the Valley View Park Elementary School, a mile away from Village Shalom
A suspected gunman was taken into police custody at the Valley View Park Elementary School, a mile away from Village ShalomCourtesy of JP Updates

The FBI is on the scene of multiple shootings in Overland Park, Kansas on Sunday. Police said one person of interest has been taken into custody after the fatal shootings at the Overland Park Jewish Community Center and at an assisted living center several blocks south.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park posted on its Facebook page that a "shooting incident" happened near the White Theater entrance and the building is on lockdown. A heavy police presence remains at the complex and the entrance is blocked off.

Authorities confirmed that one victim, identified as a 15-year-old boy, died during surgery at Overland Park Regional Medical Center. It is unclear if the person that died in surgery was one of the three dead or was a fourth person.

According to the JTA website, the shootings occurred at approximately 1 p.m. on Sunday at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park and at Village Shalom in Leawood three blocks away.

The Jewish Community Center (JCC) shooting took place inside the center’s theater, where auditions for a teen theater group were underway, according to local news reports. The assisted living center remains on lockdown following the shooting.

In an interview with CNN, Rabbi Herbert Mandl said the shooter, a man in his seventies walked up to teenagers at the JCC and asked them if they were Jewish, before firing shots. Witnesses said the suspected gunman shouted neo-Natzi slurs and "Hitler."

There have been several recent reported shootings on nearby highways. However, police do not know if those shootings are related.

The shootings took place one day before Passover,the eight-day festival celebrated from April 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan.

FBI presence at the scene of the investigation into Sunday's shootings at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park indicates that the shootings are suspected hate crimes.

After 9/11, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security designated the FBI as the lead investigators in incidents in which domestic terrorism or hate-crimes are suspected.