Society

Suspect in Kansas Jewish Center Shootings was Known White Supremacist, Yelled 'Heil Hitler!' Out Squad Car

| by Allison Geller

Frazier Glenn Cross, suspected of killing three people at two Jewish centers on Sunday, was heard spouting a white supremacist rant from the back of the police squad car as he was being taken into custody. 

Cross is the suspected gunman in two shootings that occurred yesterday at a Kansas Jewish community center and Jewish retirement home. A 14-year-old Eagle scout and his grandfather were shot outside the Overland Park Jewish Community Center. The third victim, a woman, was slain outside the Village Shalom retirement community.

In a video of Cross in the back of a squad car being taken into custody in the parking lot of an elementary school near the shootings sites, the suspect can be heard yelling what sounds like “Heil Hitler!”

Cross, of Aurora, Mo., is a well-known white supremacist, according to the Associated Press. The 73-year-old was a former Ku Klux Klan leader or “Grand Dragon,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The man booked under the name Frazier Glenn Cross is also known as Frazier Glenn Miller, and has used both names publicly. He refers to himself as Glenn Miller on his personal website and ran for public office in 2006 and 2010 under the name Frazier Glenn Miller, both times under a white supremacist platform.

Miller has been a white supremacist for most of his life, founding the Carolina Knights of the KKK in the 1980s. He also founded the White Patriot Party, another supremacist group, according to the center.

Miller was the target of a national manhunt in 1987, eventually found by federal agents in a mobile home filled with grenades, guns, and ammo. Miller had violated the terms of his bond when he appealed a conviction for operating a paramilitary camp in North Carolina.

Cross was booked on a preliminary charge of first-degree murder. He is being held at Johnson County jail.

"We're investigating it as a hate crime. We're investigating it as a murder," Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass said at a news conference shortly after the shootings. 

The shootings, which occurred just before the Jewish holiday of Passover, rocked an otherwise peaceful community. 

"Today, on the eve of Pesach, we are left to contemplate how we must continue our work building a world in which all people are free to live their lives without the threat of terror," Michael Siegal, chair of the Jewish Federations of North America, said in an emailed statement to the Associated Press.

Sources: ABC, USA Today, Associated Press, KMBC