President Barack Obama warned Monday that religious violence had no place in US society after a gunman with alleged anti-Semitic ties killed three people at a Jewish center and retirement home in Kansas on Sunday.
According to police, the attacks happened within minutes of one another. Alleged gunman Frazier Glenn Cross opened fire on two people in the parking lot behind the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. He then drove a few blocks away to a Jewish retirement community, Village Shalom, and gunned down a woman or girl there, Douglass said.
Officers arrested the suspect in a school parking lot a short time later.
“Nobody should have to worry about their security when gathering with their fellow believers. No one should have to fear for their safety when they go to prayer,” Obama said at the White House, a day after the shooting in Kansas.
The president said the shooting was particularly tragic because it came as Jews were preparing to celebrate Passover and Christians were marking Palm Sunday.
He said that the US government would provide whatever assistance necessary to help the affected community, as synagogues and other religious sites hike security measures.
“As Americans… we’ve got to stand united against this kind of terrible violence, which has no place in our society,” Obama said, as he hosted an Easter prayer breakfast.
“We have to keep coming together across faiths to combat the ignorance and intolerance, including anti-Semitism that can lead to hatred and to violence.”
Alleged gunman Frazier Glenn Cross, now in custody, was a former Ku Klux Klan leader and had a history of anti-Semitism, said the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks hate groups.
He reportedly yelled “Heil Hitler” as police escorted him away in Kansas City on Sunday.