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World/National News

April 14, 2014

Three dead after 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.”

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.

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