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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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cerebralmamma April 13 2014 at 7:43 PM

boruch dayan haemet-bleesed is g-d who is the true judge. people hate jews for no good reason. g-d will pay them back. the world hates jews as a general rule and yet we have contributed to medicine, education, computer technology, are present at every disaster lending aid when the countries allow israelis in. zionism isn't racism-it is jewish self-love. if you want to hate jews, stop using pentinm processors, pokipo vaccines, and definitely the heimlich maneuver. may the haters choke on their hatred. am yisrael chai-the jewish people live!!!!!!!!!

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3 replies
abcstarfox April 14 2014 at 1:34 AM

Is this a hate crime?
Seriously....who needs to asked that question?

The guy goes out of his way to find two different locations
that house jews,......yells out "Hate all jews' and ....HEIL HITLER ,
and the media still needs to ask this stupid question?

The entire media is getting to be like the National Inquirer....stupid.

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2 replies
LolaMarie abcstarfox April 14 2014 at 1:40 AM

Who knows maybe he's Jewish. You don't know wait till you find out more before you call this a hate crime.

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2 replies
user560870 LolaMarie April 14 2014 at 2:11 AM

One thing I can guarantee is that he is NOT Jewish...Yes Lola, self hating Jews do exist and he is NOT one of them...

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patrick58k LolaMarie April 14 2014 at 2:35 AM

Jewish?? the shooter? I doubt it! Put the puzzle together, lola...80%, he is anti-semetic.

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Lane abcstarfox April 14 2014 at 2:17 AM

The media is ran by the Jewish. The Christians endure hate crimes by them daily. God bless the Jewish and Christians alike.

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1 reply
user560870 Lane April 14 2014 at 2:51 AM

Lane is an anti semite. Lane dosn't know it. How can less then 1% of the worlds population control anything? Another idiot...

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barbkay37 April 13 2014 at 7:24 PM

For anyone out there who is thinking about doing something so stupid, anywhere for any reason..........if you are so damn miserable in this world, go and take your own self out. It proves absolutely NOTHING by causing such pain to others and their families!!!

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fschefren April 13 2014 at 9:12 PM


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dcpillows April 13 2014 at 8:02 PM

terrible. what is going on in the world? genug!

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val9270000 April 14 2014 at 2:02 AM

This is really disheartening to read, especially since Passover is only a few hours away. I hate that there are people like this anti-semetic piece of dirt in the world.

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2 replies
Lane val9270000 April 14 2014 at 2:15 AM

More people, including the media are Anti Christian than anything else

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2 replies
patrick58k Lane April 14 2014 at 3:00 AM

true enough..the baby Jesus was banned from downtown Chicago (obama's home base), the Nativity Scene- was NOT Welcome...go figure that!...and the media did...nothing...figures!....yes, you are correct Lane...that why we call them..the Criminal Liberal Media...it FITS! jerks....

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alterego225 Lane April 14 2014 at 3:31 AM

This is to patrickK58K below: One of the guiding principles of the founding fathers, all of whom were secular leaning, was to remove religion from government to assure that no one religion was given more weight or preference over another, thus ensuring FREEDOM OF RELIGION - including the freedom NOT to believe they way YOU do. Read something sometime. Read Thomas Paine's, "The Age of Reason" or the Federalist Papers which were the precursors to the Declaration of Independence. Then you won't seem so narrow-minded and ignorant in your posts.

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Scott val9270000 April 14 2014 at 2:22 AM

It's spelled "anti-Semitic". And it's always been a misnomer. What you are not told by the American press is this: Yes, Jews are of the Semitic ethnicity--yet so are Arabs.

In other words, Zionist Jews (and not all Jews are Zionist), have been denying their Arab brothers and sisters for generations. But much worse--Zionist Jews have been using "anti-Semitism" as a label for anyone who opposes their ongoing atrocities against Palestininian Arabs--which they have been committing since 1948.

(In fairness, it is Zionist Christians who are allowing Zionist Jews to commit these atrocities.)

Just pick up any encyclopedia, and look up "Palestine"--you'll begin to learn the truth about this--the root cause of the Middle-East Crisis.

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4 replies
shanwalser April 14 2014 at 2:07 AM

Would you all listen to yourselves? 3 people have just died because of hate and violence in the world, now it seems we attack each other with comments. How does that make us any less a part of the problem? Let us just be sad for those who were killed and pray for their families and not argue with each other or cast blame when we do not even know all of the facts just yet. It's Passover week and Easter week. Look to God and try to be kind to one another. Only then can we be a part of the solution.

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1 reply
alterego225 shanwalser April 14 2014 at 3:21 AM

God, and religion in general, is the root problem. And if you don't get that this IS a hate crime, you're probably a redneck.

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1 reply
robokop216 alterego225 April 14 2014 at 3:48 AM

Yes shooter was a die hard Southern Democrat Red Neck and former KKK member

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Joan April 13 2014 at 7:21 PM

A country out of control---ours.

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1 reply
obiangroger Joan April 13 2014 at 7:34 PM

Joan, the people make the country. The country is not out of control but the people are! Very sad!

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ED GIBBS April 13 2014 at 7:21 PM

Can't blame all the violence on young people........

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2 replies
See ya round ED GIBBS April 13 2014 at 7:29 PM

Can't blame the violence on guns, either. Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Recently a knife was used to stab and murder children. Can't ban knives. These things happen all the time. Nothing new.

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I love Snickers ED GIBBS April 13 2014 at 7:50 PM

Yup, this serial killer suspect is seventy years old!!!!!! He's probably a member of some gang like the Gray Walkers Crew - - - they are slower moving but deadly, especially when their Depends need changing.

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hterbush April 13 2014 at 8:05 PM

What is never said in these articles is The shooter was NOT a lisenced gun owner. Just like in the the Sandy Hook shooting, the shooter had been rejected by the lisence back ground check to purchase guns, so he stole his moms.

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