WASHINGTON, April 14 (Xinhua) -- A 73-year-old former Ku Klux Klan member accused of killing three people in suburban Kansas City shootings on Sunday will face hate crime charges, law enforcement officials said Monday.
The federal and local law enforcement has determined that the shooting at a Jewish Community Center and a retirement home in Overland Park, a Kansas City suburb in the U.S. state of Kansas on Sunday constituted a hate crime.
"We have unquestionably determined through the work of local and federal law enforcement agencies that this was a hate crime," Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass told a press conference Monday.
Douglass said the law enforcement officials made the determination following the suspect's statements to police after the shooting.
Frazier Glenn Cross, who was arrested following the shootings, is a known white supremacist and known affiliate of various hate groups. He will be charged with first-degree murder on the state and federal level and the prosecutors will also pursue hate-crime charges against him.
Earlier Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department would provide all available support to determine if the "heinous acts" constituted a hate crime.
"As Americans, we will continue to stand united against this kind of terrible violence, which has no place in our society," U.S. President Barack Obama said Monday in a statement on Passover, a major Jewish festival celebrating the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt.
"Yet even as we celebrate, our prayers will be with the people of Overland Park, Kansas and the family and friends of the three innocent people who were killed when a gunman, just one day before Passover, opened fire at a Jewish community center and retirement home on Sunday," he said.
When delivering remarks at a White House event earlier on Monday, Obama honored the victims in the shooting and noted that a number of synagogues and Jewish community centers have taken added security precautions following the incident.
Police identified the victims as Reat Griffin Underwood, 14, and his grandfather, William Lewis Corporon, 69, and 53-year-old occupational therapist Terri LaManno.