President Obama during a White House prayer breakfast weighed in on the Kansas shooting. The president spoke about the senseless shootings that occur in our society today. Obama is asking for the prayers of all Americans for the families of the deceased and those affected by the incident.
A 73-year-old man was arrested after he open-fired outside a Jewish community center in Kansas. Johnson County Jail has identified the suspect as Frazier Glenn Cross, aka Frazier Glenn Miller. He was booked on premeditated first-degree murder Sunday evening. Premeditated murder is charged when the investigation leads police to believe the murder was planned prior to the actual act.
Cross is known to be involved in the white supremacist movement. If proven that he committed the murders due to his racist beliefs, he can be charged federally for a hate crime which would enhance any punishment if Cross is found guilty.
It is not clear as to why Cross chose this weekend to carry out plans but one could speculate it has religious undertones. The Jewish festival of Passover begins on Monday and police wonder if this was a hate crime due to the timing of the shooting. Witnesses said the gunman had singled out Jewish victims as his targets. Some witnesses said Cross had screamed “heil Hitler” prior to opening fire with a shotgun, noting that they thought he had a smirk on his face.
Cross founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan was a “grand dragon” in the 80s before he was apparently sued by the organization for paramilitary and intimidating tactics against blacks. He then founded another white supremacist group called the White Patriot Party. An Army veteran and retired truck driver, he was the subject of a nationwide manhunt in ’87 after violating his parole from a North Carolina conviction for operating a paramilitary camp. When Cross was found, he was in possession of hand grenades, automatic weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Cross had tried his hand at politics in 2006 and 2010 running for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. President Obama weighed in on the shooting in Kansas at the prayer meeting in the White House, ironically a place Cross would have been if he had been an elected Senator.
Cross fired shots behind the Jewish community center in Kansas City around 1:00 p.m. One male died on the scene and another male died later in the hospital. Cross fleeing the scene again opened firing at a nearby Village Shalom killing a female before being arrested near an elementary school. There were two other people shot at during his rampage who have not been identified yet but the gunman missed them.
Family members of two of dead in the shooting released a statement Sunday. The family stated that they only take comfort in knowing that the two are in heaven together. The two are identified as Dr. William Lewis Corporon and his grandson who was only 14 years old at the time.
Corporon and his grandson were just pulling into the parking lot of the community center when they were shot. They were going to the community center for Corporon’s grandson to audition for the holiday seasons upcoming events. He was to try out for the KC Super Star singing competition for the students.
One has to wonder why these shooting continue to happen. Is it becoming more common or due to the coverage of these incidents and the internet, is the information more accessible to the public. The Country needs to take a hard look at what can be done to prevent these sort of acts from becoming common place or if that goal can be obtained at all. It is hard to prevent a person’s behavior but there are ways to deter them from acting out in this way.
This may spark another debate about the right to bear arms, a constitutional right for American citizens. The debate has been a common topic after shooting incidents such as this one. Each side has legitimate views on how to move forward but there is no compromise on either side to put this debate to rest. Most of the shootings that occur of this nature target gun free zones, cowards who know they will not be shot back at.
President Barack Obama released a statement expressing his grief over the shooting. Obama with Gov. Sam Brownback have vowed to bring all those responsible to justice. During a White House Prayer breakfast, Obama weighed in on the incident, calling the Kansas shooting unnecessary and all too common.
Commentary by Jabar Morarend