Killings at Jewish community center mourned


OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Outpourings of grief and support came in response to the murder of three people at two Jewish-run facilities in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park April 13, the day before the Jewish feast of Passover was to begin.
Although none of the three dead were Jewish, local police and the FBI labeled the killings a hate crime the day after the shootings. A former Ku Klux Klan leader with a history of anti-Semitism was charged in connection with the killings.
South Jersey interfaith organizations issued statements April 14.
“Once again the effects of bigotry combined with the ready access to guns brings tragedy to another American community,” the Jewish Catholic Muslim Dialogue and the Catholic Jewish Commission said in a statement the day after the shooting.
Although most people find such hatred incomprehensible, the Catholic Muslim Commission said in a separate statement, it is not uncommon. “The Aryan Brotherhood and Klu Klux Klan are alive and well. If we as a society find such organizations and their conduct repugnant, it is our obligation to speak out loudly and clearly.
“The Catholic Muslim Commission strongly condemns this reprehensible crime and the abhorrent actions of hate based groups.”
The organizations expressed sympathy for the victims’ families.
“In this blessed season when Jews celebrate Passover and Christians Easter, the love from God that we cherish cannot be diminished by agents of hate,” the Jewish Catholic Muslim Dialogue and the Catholic Jewish Commission said.
One of the dead was a Catholic woman, Terri LaManno of Kansas City. She was at Village Shalom, where Frazier Glenn Cross, according to police, headed after allegedly shooting a doctor and his teenage grandson at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City a mile away.
LaManno was a member of St. Peter Parish in Kansas City. Her identity was released midmorning April 14. Her mother lives at Village Shalom, an assisted living residence near the community center.
“I express my deepest condolences to the Jewish community for the unspeakable act of violence that occurred on their campus on Sunday,” said Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in an April 13 statement.
President Barack Obama, in an April 13 statement, said, “While we do not know all of the details surrounding today’s shooting, the initial reports are heartbreaking.”