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3 dead after suburban Kansas City shooting



OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) - A man in his 70s opened fire Sunday outside of a Jewish community center and nearby retirement community, killing three people, authorities said.

Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass said at a news conference Sunday evening that a person who had been reported to be in critical condition earlier was among three killed in the attacks, which apparently occurred minutes apart.

"Today is a sad and very tragic day," Douglass said. "As you might imagine we are only three hours into this investigation. There's a lot of innuendo and a lot of assertions going around. There is really very little hardcore information."

3 Dead In Shootings At Jewish Sites In Kansas City Area

Shots were fired behind the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in a parking lot about 1 p.m., Douglass said. One male died at the scene, another male died at a hospital. The gunman then fled and opened fire at nearby Village Shalom, killing a female, before later being arrested near an elementary school. Two other people were shot at, but the gunfire missed them, Douglass said.

Douglass said it was too early in the investigation to determine if the shootings were hate crimes. The Jewish festival of Passover begins Monday.

"We know it was a vicious act of violence, and we know obviously it was at two Jewish facilities. One might make that assumption," Douglass said.

He described the suspect as a white man in his 70s who is not from Kansas. He said the suspect is being held at the Johnson County Detention Center, but did not provide further information.

"We have no indication he knew the victims," Douglass said, adding that the suspect was not known to Kansas City-area authorities before the shootings. Douglass said a shotgun was used, and investigators were trying to determine whether a handgun and assault-style rifle also were involved.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park posted on its Facebook page Sunday afternoon that a "shooting incident" happened near its White Theater entrance.

"Everyone participating in JCC programming has been released to their homes," the center posted later Sunday.

There was a heavy police presence at the campus, which spans several acres in an affluent area of Johnson County, Kan. Police had also taped off the entrance to Village Shalom on Sunday afternoon, and several patrol cars and a crime scene unit van were parked in front.

St. Louis resident Kristy Straeb, 47, said her sister-in-law Stacie Ventimiglia was at the center's pool with a friend and four little girls under the age of 7 for a swimming lesson, which ended about 12:45 p.m. Straeb said they decided at the last minute to get the girls showered.

"They had just gotten the four babies naked, and somebody yelled into the family locker room, 'We have an active shooter situation. You need to get safe,'" Straeb said.

The women got into a cubby area and were "ready to push the little girls into 4 empty lockers," Straeb said. She noted that the women and their children were not harmed and left the center about 2:45 p.m. Sunday.

Auditions for the KC SuperStar competition were scheduled to be held Sunday at the Jewish Community Center. On Sunday afternoon, the website for KC SuperStar, which is a singing competition for high school students, said the auditions were cancelled.

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bluehawk99 April 14 2014 at 12:39 AM

I love this quote:
" investigators were trying to determine whether a handgun and assault-style rifle also were involved."
If there were no weapons of that sort found, then why would they be trying to determine that??
It's very easy by looking at the wounds what type of weapon was used...especially when it was reported a shotgun was used. How hard is it to tell the difference between shotgun and rifle wounds??? So ridiculous!!!!!

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3 replies
notagoya April 13 2014 at 7:45 PM

Just a random act of violence? I think not.

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ztalpnielk April 13 2014 at 10:23 PM

hate crimes are always ugly against any people!

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Bob April 13 2014 at 10:19 PM

It appears, based on the postings I read across the social media spectrum, that the practice of proof reading is a distant memory. You all should try it. It doesn't take that long and it keeps you from appearing as a fool to the rest of the world. It also gives you a second chance to consider your thoughts, which in most cases is probably the first consideration. Try thinking first, typing second.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
1 reply
rothhammer1 Bob April 13 2014 at 10:47 PM

I wonder how many here have ever handled movable type?
Mind your p's and q's (along with b's and d's).

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David April 13 2014 at 9:55 PM

May the victims of this event rest in peace

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Mike April 13 2014 at 7:51 PM

terrible....condolences to the families. Will interested in hearing more about the killer.

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KILO ROCK BRAVO April 13 2014 at 7:51 PM

Hi, I'm the UNAMERICAN commenter who.....has legally owned handguns, believes in the 2nd. Amendment, but would like to have sufficient gun backround check to prevent obviously demented aholes from obtaining them, I believe that people who dissagree with me politically are still patriots and are capable of initiating good ideas. Sometime morons on both side fit the sicko labels that are thrown at them. Diametrically opposing ideas lead to zero soloutions. P.S. This was not a giant hoax by the Jews in Kansas.

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2 replies
rothhammer1 KILO ROCK BRAVO April 13 2014 at 7:55 PM

You sound like a solid citizen to me.

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andrewroederer KILO ROCK BRAVO April 13 2014 at 8:04 PM

I agree but then again if you read the article the shooter is 70 years old. He could have had the shotgun before any real gun laws passed.

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gogators1980 April 13 2014 at 9:46 PM

I like AOL's tease comment on the front page "Shooter's suspected motive." I didn't see this explained anywhere, unless the idiot comment........................(Douglass said it was too early in the investigation to determine if the shootings were hate crimes. The Jewish festival of Passover begins Monday.

"We know it was a vicious act of violence, and we know obviously it was at two Jewish facilities. One might make that assumption," Douglass said.)...................was supposed to be it.

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David April 13 2014 at 9:36 PM

Heil Hitler who would say such a idiot didnt get the message the nazi s where out to control the world driven by a mad man and the delusion of race supremacy

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aljoramaggio April 13 2014 at 9:35 PM

The teaser to the article says, "Shooter's suspected motive," then you click on the article, and they have no motive at all, yet.
Typical AOL.

Flag Reply +12 rate up
2 replies
orion15stars aljoramaggio April 13 2014 at 9:44 PM

The possible motive is anti-Semitism as noted by the location the shootings happened. There is no guarantee any hate crime took place.

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mral21 aljoramaggio April 13 2014 at 9:50 PM

Well said! Did not many notice this careless editing? Is there ANY editing in this news "service"?

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