3 dead in shootings at Kansas City Jewish centers
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3 dead in shootings at Kansas City Jewish centers

Gunman opens fire at Overland Park JCC and at Village Shalom assisted living home, yells 'heil Hitler' as police take him away

A Kansas State Trooper stands near the location of a shooting at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas, Sunday, April 13, 2014 (photo credit: AP/Orlin Wagner)
A Kansas State Trooper stands near the location of a shooting at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas, Sunday, April 13, 2014 (photo credit: AP/Orlin Wagner)

Three people were killed Sunday when a gunman fired shots outside the Overland Park Jewish Community Center outside Kansas City, Kansas and at the nearby assisted living residence Village Shalom, authorities said.

A spokeswoman for a local hospital said a 15-year-old boy was in critical condition.

Overland Park city spokesman Sean Reilly said two people died at the JCC and one was killed at Village Shalom.

The JCC said the shooting occurred in the center’s parking lot and that the shooter did not enter any of its buildings.

The shooting began at about 1:00 p.m., local time, on Sunday.

Police took one person into custody at the Valley Park Elementary School, several blocks from Village Shalom.

Local news outlets reported that the man was heard yelling “heil Hitler” as police took him into custody.

The Jewish Community Center was put in lockdown after the shooting.

The FBI was on the scene to assist local police in the investigation.

As the incident began, a group of kids was filing into the JCC ahead of an audition for the high school singing competition KC Superstar. They were told to find shelter in the locker rooms.

The Village Shalom assisted living residence (screen capture: Fox News)
The Village Shalom assisted living residence (screen capture: Fox News)

“I thought he was shooting an air rifle and all of a sudden he shot at me,” Mark Brodky, a member at the JCC, told Action News. He said the man shot out the windows of his car.

Phyllis Cantor, who is undergoing rehabilitation at Village Shalom, told KCTV5 that many police officers were at the scene and there was particular focus on a white car in the parking lot.

Yahav Barnea, who works at the JCC, told Israel’s Channel 2 News that there were several events taking place at the center as well as the singing contest, including Jewish youth movement events, and that the JCC’s fitness center was also open.

She said local community leaders had received routine security warnings ahead of Passover, “but nothing specific for this area.”

A police press conference about the shooting was called for 5 p.m. local time.

“Our hearts go out to the families who have suffered loss on this tragic day,” the JCC said in a statement. “Our heartfelt gratitude as well to all those in Kansas City and around the world who have expressed sympathy, concern and support.”

The center would remain closed through Monday, the JCC said.

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