NEW YORK (JTA) — Hundreds gathered at a suburban Kansas City JCC for an interfaith memorial service for the victims of shootings there and at a nearby Jewish retirement home.
“We all needed to come together to … bring into this tragedy God, heaven, peace and love,” Jacob Schreiber, president and chief executive of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kan., told Thursday’s gathering in the JCC auditorium, Reuters reported.
Heavy security surrounded the JCC, where William Corporon, 69, and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood, were shot dead on Sunday, a day before the start of Passover. At the Village Shalom facility a mile away, Terri LaManno, a 53-year-old occupational therapist visiting her mother, was killed minutes later.
Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, an avowed white supremacist, is suspected in the murders and is being held on $10 million bond. Cross also is facing possible federal hate crimes charges, Reuters reported.
None of the victims were Jewish; officials said Cross appeared to be targeting Jews.
Speaking at the memorial, U.S. Attorney Eric Holder said, “Every alleged hate crime, no matter who the intended target, is an affront to who we are,” Reuters reported. “These acts cannot be ignored. We are united in our condemnation of this heinous attack and our commitment to seeing that justice is served.”
Jewish and Christian leaders spoke at the service, which featured images of the victims suspended on video screens.
“This speaks to the strength of the Kansas City community,” said Eric Morgenstern, a former JCC board member. “We know that hope and love will overcome bigotry and racism.”