2014 December 5
Another Hate Crime in Kansas City?
Friday the FBI said it is investigating a
fatal attack Thursday on a 15-year old Muslim as a hate crime. This
follows the murder of three persons April 13 at two Jewish sites. Has Kansas
City has moved backward from the days it was lauded as an interfaith model?
A PRAYER and NEWS REPORTS below
Spirit of Life,
You are a God of
Compassion and Justice.
When acts of apparent
hatred explode into our world
We are filled with
anger and a desire for vengeance.
Accept us with our
feelings and heal our world and us.
Allow us to see your
compassion in the passion of our world.
Invite us to experience
Use our minds and
our bodies to nurture a response of love.
Heal the hearts of
those who act out of hate.
Heal the minds of
those who seek revenge.
Give us all a renewed
vision of a beloved community.
Let your compassion
and your justice rain upon us again,
Spirit of Life.
to David E Nelson for this fresh prayer
are news accounts and announcements. We offer our heart-felt thoughts and
prayers. We are concerned especially for those at the boy's mosque and
his immediate community, and all our Muslim friends, and all who face discrimination
because of their faith, race, or other perceived difference. We pray that
all Kansas Citians may come to appreciate and enjoy our diversity.
The Greater Kansas
City Interfaith Council is shocked and saddened by the recent attack
at the Somali Center of Kansas City, which resulted in the death of 15-year-old
Abdisamad “Adam” Sheikh Hussain. We applaud the quick response of law enforcement
units, which are investigating this incident as a possible hate crime.
There is evidence that the community had been dealing with anti-Muslim
statements and threats prior to this incident.
The Interfaith Council
continues to promote understanding of all religions and continues to offer
multi-faith education, which is key to a civilized society. We implore
people in the Kansas City community to learn about different religions
and cultures in order to prevent discrimination and violence.
Our sympathies go
out to the victim’s family, to the Somali Center, and all people who care
CAIR to Join Community
Memorial Service for Kansas City Muslim Teen Murdered in Hate Attack
12/6/14) – On Sunday, December 7, representatives of the Kansas chapter
of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Kansas) will join other
community and interfaith leaders at a memorial service in Kansas City,
Mo., for Abdisamad "Adam" Sheikh-Hussein, the 15-year-old boy who was murdered
Thursday in an apparent anti-Muslim hate attack.
WHEN: Sunday, December
7, 1:30 p.m. (Central)
WHERE: Masjid At-Taqwa,
1340 Admiral Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64106
Chairman Moussa Elbayoumy, 785-318-6323, email@example.com
"This memorial service
is designed to show solidarity with the family and loved ones of Abdisamad
'Adam' Sheikh-Hussein and to prove that hope and peace will always prevail
over hate and evil," said CAIR-Kansas Chairman Moussa Elbayoumy.
The teenager died
Thursday night after his legs were severed when he was intentionally hit
by an SUV outside the Somali Center of Kansas City.
SEE: Killing of Somali
Teen is Horrifying Whatever the Motive
Friends and family
members of the slain teen will take part in the memorial, along with representatives
of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council, the former Kansas City mayor
pro tem and a representative of a coalition of local Muslim organizations,
Speakers at the service
will include representatives of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council,
the former Kansas City mayor pro tem and a representative of a coalition
of local Muslim organizations,
CAIR is America's
largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is
to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil
liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote
justice and mutual understanding.
- END –
Chairman Moussa Elbayoumy, 785-318-6323, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National
Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com
2014 Dec 07 The
Kansas City Star.
2014 Dec 07 The Kansas
mourn teen killed in street
says violent death of boy in front of mosque has drawn the Muslim community
By MARK MORRIS The
Kansas City Star
to shoulder, hundreds of friends and family members packed a south Kansas
City gym to pray for the soul of Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein in paradise.
also known as Adam to his friends at Staley High School, died Thursday
after he was run down in the street in front of his mosque at the Somali
Center of Kansas City, 1340 Admiral Blvd.
County prosecutors have charged Ahmed H. Aden, a 34-year-old Kansas City
truck driver, with first-degree murder in his death.
said to be a Somali Christian, also is the target of a federal civil rights
investigation. The FBI is studying whether Aden’s alleged killing of Abdisamad,
15, was fueled by hatred of Islam and its adherents.
worshipers filed into the Islamic Center of Greater Kansas City gym, Abdisamad’s
body, wrapped in a white shroud, was moved in front of the crowd, standing
in rows, men and boys in front, women and girls to the back.
Hussein, the service manager for the center, said funeral prayers are open
to anyone who feels drawn to attend. But this was one of the largest such
events in recent memory, he said.
Kansas City Somali community is very close, he said, and Abdisamad’s death
has drawn the entire Muslim community together. “It’s
a devastating thing for a 15-year-old to die this way,” Hussein said. “The
way this happened has attracted more people to come.”
Mohamud, the boy’s father, who teaches at the Somali Center, stepped to
the microphone to lead the crowd in the four-part funeral, or Janaza, prayer,
most of which is said silently by each in attendance.
first two parts praise God and ask for blessings on the Prophet Muhammad,
on Abraham and on their descendents.
litany was unfamiliar to Nick Roche, one of Abdisamad’s sophomore classmates
at Staley. He attended to honor the memory of a good friend who broke down
didn’t care about your religion; he cared about you,” Nick said. “If you’re
ever having a bad day, think about the bright side, like he did.”
last two sections of the funeral prayer are calls for forgiveness, for
the community and for those who have died.
him from his sins as a white garment is cleansed from dirt,” it reads in
Aasim Baheyadeen suggested that the call for forgiveness could extend even
to Aden, who members of the Somali community have said struggled with his
own demons, as well as a hatred for Islam.
are people in this world with ills, and you have to find hope for them,”
reach Mark Morris, call
or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
2014 Dec 06 The
Kansas City Star.
boy killed outside of mosque
horrifying act of violence
the motivation, the killing of a 15-year-old Somali boy outside a mosque
in northeast Kansas City Thursday is appalling.
Sheikh-Hussein, a sophomore at Staley High School in the North Kansas City
School District, was struck by an SUV as he was getting into a car that
was parked curbside at Admiral Boulevard and Lydia Avenue. The teenager,
who also used the names Abdi and Adam, died at a hospital.
said the driver of the SUV intentionally barreled the vehicle into the
car being used by the teenager and several other persons. Police got to
the scene quickly and apprehended Ahmed
Aden, 34. Prosecutors on Friday charged Aden with first-degree murder and
armed criminal action.
killing is being investigated by both Kansas City police and the FBI, because
of suggestions that the driver may have targeted the car outside of a mosque
in order to kill Muslims. People in the Somali community said Aden was
a Somali-born Christian. The Kansas Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic
Relations issued a news release saying that the vehicle involved in the
boy’s death had been spotted in the past with an anti-Islamic message on
a rear window.
who were in the area just before and after Abdisamad was run down said
a man fitting Aden’s description was brandishing a machete and a handgun.
Court documents said Aden talked about unknown people trying to kill him
when he was questioned by police.
possessed the driver, he took the life of a beloved and promising youth.
Abdisamad was described as a resource to the Somali community, helping
to care for children, deliver food to the needy and teach English to adults.
Somalis in Kansas City came here as refugees to escape violence in their
homeland. It is beyond cruel that an apparent act of senseless violence
has claimed one of their children here.
hate crime outside a Kansas City mosque kills one teenager.
December 5, 2014,
Kansas City Muslim
community is deeply shocked at the hit and run, apparently intentional
assault last evening outside a mosque on Admiral Boulevard in Midtown Kansas
City. The attack resulted in the death of a teenager and serious injuries
to another teenager. Our thoughts and prayers for the victims and their
families and friends.
We ask the federal
law enforcement authorities to investigate this attack as a possible hate
We commend the Kansas
City Police Department for apprehending the suspected killer immediately
after the crime. We hope the suspect will be charged and brought to full
In light of the increased
attacks on the mosques across the nation, we appeal to the law enforcement
departments to provide extra safety and security to the mosques, Islamic
schools and Muslim businesses.
FROM The Kansas City Star 2014 Dec 6
MURDER CHARGE | Small community mourns
after SUV runs down boy
MAN ACCUSED OF KILLING
SOMALI TEEN AT MOSQUE
Many say driver, who also faces a federal
hate crime probe, repeatedly made threats against Muslims.
By MARK MORRIS, ERIC ADLER and TONY RIZZO
The Kansas City Star
Before suffering gruesome
and fatal injuries Thursday, Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein helped lead the evening
Muslim prayers at his mosque near downtown.
“He asked for mercy for humankind
and asked for humans to follow the righteous path,” remembered Ali Abdi,
the assistant director of the Somali Center of Kansas City and its mosque.
But Abdisamad, 15, received
no mercy minutes later as he stepped off the curb at 1340 Admiral Blvd.
and headed toward a car. A Chevrolet Blazer speeding eastbound sideswiped
the car and struck Abdisamad, nearly severing his legs.
The Staley High School sophomore
died later at a hospital.
The driver of the SUV, Ahmed
H. Aden, a 34-year-old Kansas
City truck driver, told police after his arrest that he had been searching
for men who’d threatened him nine days earlier. And he said he planned
to kill those men if he found them, according to court records.
Aden told police that he
intentionally struck Abdisamad, but he had mistaken the teen for one of
the men who had threatened him, according to the court records.
Jackson County prosecutors
charged Aden with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, leaving the
scene of an accident and unlawful use of a weapon.
Abdisamad’s uncle, Abdinajib
Dirir, said the family, who had emigrated from war-torn Somalia, was devastated.
“There are no words to describe,”
he said. “This is a community that fled a violent situation. Now we’re
facing violence in the United States. … We are American like everyone else.
And this is a tragedy for us.”
Aden, whom sources described
as a Somali Christian, now is the target of both a state murder investigation
and a federal hate-crimes probe, authorities said.
Members of the Somali community
said that Aden long was known to have made frequent and violent threats
against Muslims and the mosque, occasionally even threatening the mass
slaughter of worshipers.
Abdi said the man had been
reported to authorities repeatedly and that Abdisamad even was interviewed
by police about threats he had heard Aden make before.
“He said he will kill a number
of people,” Abdi said. “Ultimately, he killed one. Allah did not allow
him to kill more.”
Moussa Elbayoumy, chairman
of the Kansas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said
a member of the mosque has a photo of Aden’s SUV, taken about two months
ago, showing anti-Muslim graffiti, reading, “Quran is a virus disease (worse)
“He made verbal threats to
them that he intended to kill several people,” Elbayoumy said.
Ahmed Abdi, 13, and other
boys at the mosque on Friday confirmed they had seen the graffiti scrawled
across the SUV as it cruised around the mosque recently.
“He said bad things about
our religion,” Ahmed said. “He came around with his car and had signs saying,
‘Islam is a disease.’ ”
Also Friday, Kansas City
police released a report of a telephone interview of Aden, conducted Oct.
25 by an officer investigating an assault at a Somali market on Independence
“The (suspect) stated to
me that several people from … Islam (were) going to kill him,” the officer
wrote. “I then asked the (suspect) why they want to kill him, and he stated
that he was only practicing his freedom of press/expression.”
No charges were filed in
the assault case, police said, because the victim declined to pursue prosecution.
Court records indicated that
Aden previously lived in Dodge City, Kan., and Minnesota.
He appeared to have a minimal
criminal record. He was ticketed by the Missouri Highway Patrol earlier
this year for driving a vehicle exceeding the allowable weight. A court
in Rice County, Minn., convicted him in 2008 for driving under the influence
He served a 90-day sentence
in the county jail and was on probation for one year.
“It is heartbreaking, I tell
you that,” Mohamed Abdikafi, 34, said standing over the ovens at Jabaland,
the Somali grill he owns on Independence Avenue.
Abdikafi, a Somali who has
been in Kansas City for about five years, said he knew both Abdisamad and
He said Aden was well-known
in the community as a disturbed and angry man.
“That guy, he had an issue
with the whole community,” Abdikafi said.
Aden, he said, would frequently
spout hatred and at times was known to be threatening.
“You could tell he was looking
for trouble,” Abdifaki said of Aden, whom he served beef stew at 10 a.m.
on the morning of the killing.
He said most people in the
community tended to wave off Aden’s opinions as hateful, but meaningless,
“Nobody took him seriously.
Everybody would walk away,” Abdifaki said. Yet now, he added, “I wish we
took him seriously.”
Abdisamad also was well known
in the Somali community, but as a kind, happy and decent boy from a good
His father, Adullahi Mohamud,
is the assistant to the imam at the mosque and also teaches there. He and
his wife, Hawa, have three other children, a son and two daughters, Abdi
At the mosque on Friday morning,
Bashir Alew, 42, a Somali who is a pharmacist now living in Lee’s Summit,
broke into tears as he talked about the death. Alew has four children.
“This is where my children
come on the weekend,” he said of the mosque. They attended weekend religious
school there on Saturdays and Sundays.
Alew said his 13-year-old
used to play basketball with Abdisamad, whom Alew had known for 10 years.
Abdi said Abdisamad spent
most of his weekends at the mosque, arriving at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and
Sundays and leaving about 8 p.m. He would distribute food to the needy
and help Somali community members with their English.
Abdisamad also looked out
for the drunken homeless men who occasionally staggered by the mosque.
Abdi remembered that recently Abdisamad helped one such man to his feet
after he’d fallen.
Abdi remembered teasing the
boy, telling him not to bother unless he also had a home for the man.
“I said, ‘Leave him alone,’
” Abdi recalled.
“But he needs help,” Abdisamad
Abdi paused to compose himself.
“He was one of the best boys
at the center,” he said.
Later Friday afternoon, more
than 200 men, women and children packed the Somali Center mosque for Friday
prayers. Afterward, many gathered around the boy’s family to offer comfort.
A group of teenage boys stood
in a group across the room, some almost in a daze, trying to figure out
how to cope with the loss of their friend.
Mohamed Ahmed, 13, said on
Thursday, Abdisamad “was leading our prayer, and then after that, he just
went outside. He was going to the gym to meet his friends and play basketball.
And then, he got hit.”
Ahmed Abdurahan, 15, described
his friend as “a nice guy, very easy to talk to.”
“He was like a regular kid,”
he said. “He was smart in school, and he knew about the religion. It’s
really shocking to see him gone now.”
He said he had just seen
his friend at the prayer service on Thursday afternoon.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said.
“I still can’t believe he’s gone. My mind can’t wrap around it.”
Ahmed Mohamed, a close friend
of the boy’s family, described him as “that friend you could go to and
“Everybody in this community
knew him,” he said. “There was no person that he would exempt, nobody who
didn’t like him. He was the kind of person who everybody loved.”
Alew and others dismissed
the notion that Abdisamad’s death was an outgrowth of some sort of larger
religious differences between Somalis who are Muslim and those who are
“It is a small community,”
he said of Somalis in the Kansas City area.
The most recent U.S. census
puts the number at just short of 600 inside the Kansas City limits, but
it does not include the outlying suburbs.
Alew said that on any given
Saturday or Sunday, some 600 to 700 Somalis will flow in and out of the
mosque. Christian and Muslim Somalis, he said, get along well in Kansas
“I don’t think this is a
Christian, Muslim issue,” he said. “I think this is a mental issue.”
Abdirizak Mohamed, 34, who
came to Kansas City from Somalia about 12 years ago, said the same.
“Everybody gets along here,”
he said. “Everyone’s at peace.”
The Star’s Judy L. Thomas,
Matt Campbell and Robert
Cronkleton contributed to
KEITH MYERS | THE KANSAS CITY STAR
Worshippers gathered around
Abdullahi Mohamud (center), father of 15-year-old Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein,
after prayers Friday at the Somali Center of Kansas City. Many described
Abdisamad as a happy, helpful person who will be missed greatly.
ROBERT A. CRONKLETON | THE STAR
Hundreds gather at the Somali
Center of Kansas City each weekend.
FROM The Kansas City Star
Updated: FBI investigating possible hate
crime in fatal hit-and-run of Muslim boy in KC
BY MATT CAMPBELLTHE KANSAS
12/04/2014 7:53 PM 12/05/2014 9:29
The Somali Center of Kansas City at Admiral
Boulevard and Lydia Avenue
ROBERT A. CRONKLETON THE STAR
The FBI announced Friday it was investigating
the fatal, and apparently intential, hit-and-run incident that killed a
15-year-old Muslim Somali boy as a potential hate crime..
The boy was killed early Thursday evening
as he was leaving the Somali Center of Kansas City at Admiral Boulevard
and Lydia Avenue.
“We’re working jointly with the Kansas
City Police Department,” said FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton, “but we have
opened this as a civil rights investigation into a potential hate crimes
A Kansas City Muslim group and a Kansas
group with ties to a national organization called Friday for such a federal
probe following the boys death in what witnesses told police appeared to
be a deliberate attempt to strike the teenager with an SUV about 5:30 p.m.
The victim’s legs were nearly severed in
the incident Thursday and he was taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital where
he died, a dispatcher confirmed.
The Kansas City Muslim Community is “deeply
shocked,”according to a press release from Zulfiqar Malik, a board member
with the Heartland Muslim Council.
“We ask federal law enforcement to investigate
this attack as a possible hate crime,” Malik said in the release.
In another release, the Kansas Chapter
of the Council on American-Islamic Relations cited Somali Center officials
as saying a man had been threatening Muslims in Kansas City for months.
It also said the vehicle involved in the boy’s death was seen months before
bearing anti-Islamic message written on a rear window in broken English.
“We urge federal authorities to get involved
in this case in order to send the message that our nation’s leaders will
not allow American Muslims to be targeted because of their faith,” CAIR-Kansas
Chairman Moussa Elbayoumy said in a news release on Friday.
The victim and another person were getting
into a parked car when the driver of a Chevrolet SUV, eastbound on Admiral,
sideswiped them. Witnesses said the vehicle crossed the center line and
appeared to target the pedestrians on the north side of the street.
“This was intentional,” said police Sgt.
The victim was thrown by the impact.
The SUV was disabled by the crash. The
driver, described as in his mid-30s, was alone in the vehicle. He fled
on foot but was quickly arrested. Police said he had a machete and other
The Heartland Muslim Council commended
police for arresting the suspect so quickly.
“We hope the suspect will be charged and
brought to full justice,” the press release said.
Police on Thursday declined to speculate
on a motive and were interviewing witnesses. The incident is being investigated
by the assault squad, Mahoney said.
Mark Morris, Tony Rizzo and Robert A. Cronkleton
contributed to this report.
To reach Matt Campbell call 816-234-4902
or send email to email@example.com
‘Every Jew in the world knows my name now’
For the first time, F. Glenn Miller Jr.
talks about the April 13 killings. Experts say paying attention to hate
will prevent future tragedies.
By JUDY L. THOMAS The Kansas City Star
The avowed white supremacist
charged with killing three people at Jewish sites in Overland Park said
he decided to carry out the attacks after becoming so sick with emphysema
that he thought he was about to die.
F. Glenn Miller Jr., who
faces a capital murder charge, told The Kansas City Star he went to the
emergency room in late March, unable to breathe.
“I was convinced I was dying
then,” said Miller, of Aurora, Mo., in his first published interview since
the April 13 shooting rampage. “… I wanted to make damned sure I killed
some Jews or attacked the Jews before I died.”
But Jewish leaders and those
who monitor extremist groups said Miller’s actions only served to bring
the community together in a show of support for all races and religions.
And Leonard Zeskind, president of the Kansas City-based Institute for Research
and Education on Human Rights, said the public must pay more attention
to those who promote racist and violent views to understand what motivates
them and to prevent future tragedies.
Miller — who also goes by
the name Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. — is accused of killing physician William
Corporon, 69, and his grandson Reat Underwood, 14, at the Jewish Community
Center and Terri LaManno, 53, an occupational therapist who was visiting
her mother at the nearby Village Shalom care center. None of the victims
Members of both families
said Friday that they did not want to comment for this story. Johnson County
District Attorney Steve Howe and Miller’s lawyer, Ron Evans, said they
were precluded from commenting because of a judicial gag order.
Miller, 73, spoke to The
Star in a series of phone calls last week from the New Century Adult Detention
Center. He originally said he would not speak on the record unless The
Star agreed to send a copy of the recorded interview to a longtime friend
of his. The Star refused, and Miller eventually consented to an interview
without any conditions.
Speaking in a Southern drawl,
Miller talked of conducting reconnaissance missions to the Jewish Community
Center and Village Shalom in the days before the shootings. He said he
went to the two sites “for the specific purpose of killing Jews.” He said
he thought his actions had an impact.
“Because of what I did, Jews
feel less secure,” he said. “Every Jew in the world knows my name now and
what I did. As for these … white people who are accomplices of the Jews,
who attend their meetings and contribute to their fundraising efforts and
who empower the Jews, they are my enemy too. A lot of white people who
associate with Jews, go to Jewish events and support them know that they’re
not safe either, thanks to me.”
He said he had one regret.
“The young white boy,” he
said. “I regret that.”
But when asked if there was
something he wanted to say to Reat’s family, Miller said, “Not now.”
Those who track the white
nationalist movement said that although the despicable actions and disgusting
language can numb the soul, people need to learn more about extremists
like Miller to stop future attacks.
“White supremacists remain
a dangerous and violent part of our society,” Zeskind said. “We have to
talk to them and understand their motivation.
“Learning about them is our
responsibility so that we may be better equipped to tackle this ongoing
problem. Ignoring it, quarantining it, shutting our eyes, closing our ears,
hasn’t stopped any Nazi killers. Opening our eyes, joining with others,
taking public stands against racism, anti-Semitism and bigotry of the type
displayed by Glenn Miller for decades is the best guarantee of building
a truly open, democratic society.”
Mark Levin, founding rabbi
of Congregation Beth Torah in Overland Park, said the shootings had the
opposite effect of what Miller was seeking.
“The fact that he brought
tragedy to a number of lives brought our community together,” Levin said.
“… In my experience, never has the general community reacted to any minority
group the way the Jewish community was the recipient of overwhelming affection
“When the community had the
memorial, everyone came, across the board. What happened here, and I hope
it’s a harbinger of things to come, is that the bullets in an unlikely
— suburbia — made everyone
aware that we’re all vulnerable to hateful violence regardless of ethnicity,
regardless of religious affiliation.”
Miller has a decades-long
history of spewing racism. In 1980, he founded the Carolina Knights of
the Ku Klux Klan, leading hundreds of followers in marches against civil
rights throughout the Carolinas. When the organization was shut down for
conducting illegal paramilitary operations, he formed the White Patriot
Party. In 1987, he went underground after mailing a “Declaration of War”
to supporters, authorities and news organizations that established a point
system for the assassination of federal officials, blacks, Jews, gays and
Miller and several comrades
were soon arrested in a trailer in Ozark, Mo., where authorities found
a large cache of weapons and explosives. Miller cut a deal with prosecutors,
agreeing to testify against other white supremacists in a federal sedition
trial in 1988, leading some in the movement to label him a “race traitor.”
In return for his testimony, he received a five-year prison sentence.
He was released in 1990 after
serving three years. He entered the federal witness protection program
and moved to Iowa, where he became an over-the-road trucker. He moved to
southern Missouri in the mid-1990s.
In his interviews, Miller
said he conducted Internet searches of Jewish centers in the Kansas City
area but was convinced that authorities were monitoring his computer and
phone, “so I was always careful.”
“I even Googled Islamic community
centers, Hispanic community centers, Baptist community centers, just to
throw them off,” he said. “I didn’t drive my truck because I was convinced
it was being monitored by satellite by the cops. That’s the reason I took
my wife’s car.”
Miller said he drove to the
Jewish Community Center numerous times in the week leading up to the shootings.
“I drove all the way from
my home in Missouri, back and forth, back and forth,” he said. “I reconnoitered
the damned place.”
Miller said he first went
to the center about six days before the shootings. He was unarmed, he said,
and wanted to see whether anyone would try to stop him.
“And nothing happened,” he
said. “I parked right in front of it and drove around. If the feds had
been monitoring me, they’d have stopped me right then because they were
afraid I was going to kill somebody.”
He said he never went inside
the center — not only because his emphysema made it difficult to walk very
far, but also because he was afraid.
“I was terrified of getting
caught with these weapons,” he said. “If I got caught with those weapons,
I’d be finished. I’d spend the rest of my damned life in prison and not
having done anything.”
Miller said he’d read online
that the community center was sponsoring an “American Idol”-style talent
competition on April 13.
“And according to the flier
that I read, it says young Jews from all over will be participating,” he
The day before the shootings,
Miller drove to the Kansas City area and got a motel room in Belton. The
next morning, he went to Harrah’s North Kansas City casino and won $290
“I think I was there for
about an hour,” he said. “When I was walking around, I’d give a ‘Heil Hitler’
salute and I would goosestep. I knew I was going to do it.”
Miller said he went to the
community center three times that day, starting about 10:30 or 11 a.m.
After the third visit, he said, he decided to go home because he hadn’t
seen enough people “to satisfy my quota,” which he said was “maybe six
He left and drove south on
Nall Avenue to 135th Street, then headed east. But then he turned around.
“I pulled over and I thought,
‘Here I am going home. I might die, and I will have not fulfilled my mission.’
My conscience would not allow me to do that.”
He arrived back at the Jewish
Community Center around 1 p.m. He said he had a pistol in the front seat
and two shotguns and a.30-caliber carbine in the trunk.
“I seen the two guys getting
out of a vehicle …,” he said. “Right above then, there were two young guys
walking towards their vehicle and towards my direction.
“… I just parked right in
the middle of the drive there, and I got out where the guys in the vehicle
were. I was probably no more than eight feet from that doctor. I got out
and got in my trunk and started shooting. … He showed no fear at all.”
One of the other men in the
parking lot disappeared, he said.
“The other guy speeded up,”
he said. “I shot at him but missed him.
“I thought it was a strong
possibility I’d be killed, so I wanted to kill as many as I possibly could
before I got killed myself. I was thoroughly convinced the place was going
to be loaded with guards. Armed guards.”
As he drove away from the
center, he said, “I have never felt such exhilaration. … Finally, I’d done
He said he drove slowly to
Nall, then turned south, surprised that nobody was coming after him. He
immediately drove to Village Shalom, where he encountered LaManno in the
“After I shot her, another
woman came right behind the woman’s vehicle that I’d just shot. Right behind
it, 15 feet from me. … I had the shotgun pointed at her head from about
12 feet. I said, Are you a Jew?’ She said, ‘What?’ By the second time,
she knew why I was asking. She screamed, ‘No.’ So I let her live.”
After that, Miller said,
“I drove just a few blocks because I figured there were guards there who
were going to shoot me in a second.”
He said he called 911 right
“It rang about 10 times,”
he said, “and there was no answer.”
He said he opened a fifth
of Wild Turkey whiskey he’d bought the night before.
“I don’t drink,” he said.
“I quit at least 10 years ago. I took three or four gulps. And before I
took the fourth one, the cops pulled up.”
Police arrested him in the
parking lot of Valley Park Elementary School, 123rd Street and Lamar Avenue.
Miller said they brought several witnesses to help identify him as the
“They brought them up in
a car and then they took me out of the police vehicle and in front of the
car where the people could see me. I screamed at them, ‘Heil Hitler. I
wish I’d have killed all of you.’ ”
Miller said he was surprised
to learn from a newspaper story the following Saturday that the people
he killed were not Jewish.
“I was convinced there would
be all Jews or mostly Jews” at the two centers, he said.
Several times during the
interviews, Miller said he didn’t realize that Reat Underwood was so young.
“The 14-year-old boy, he
looked 20,” he said.
He said he acted alone and
told no one of his plans.
“I decided to cut loose as
a lone wolf and kill them Jews.”
In May, federal authorities
indicted a southern Missouri man for making a “false and fictitious” statement
on a form when buying a Remington Model 870 shotgun at a Wal-Mart in Republic,
Mo., four days before the shootings. The man claimed to be the actual buyer
of the shotgun “when in fact as the defendant then knew, he was not the
actual buyer of the firearm,” according to the indictment.
Miller said the man also
bought him the two other long guns at a gun show in Springfield. But Miller
said the man wasn’t involved in his plot.
“I used him,” he said. “He
didn’t know anything. He didn’t know I was a convicted felon.”
Miller said he committed
the attacks “for my people.”
“Not my family,” he said.
“I told my family when they were kids, I said, ‘Look, the reason I had
you was to grow up and help me fight the Jews.’ ”
But he said the older his
children got, the less inclined they were to be a part of his plan.
“They wanted to have a good
life and to hell with everything else,” he said. “That’s the way you all
are, you know. All white people are that way. Self-interest. Satisfy their
bellies, pocketbook and genitals. And watch ballgames. That’s all they
Miller was in a Johnson County
courtroom Wednesday for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there
is sufficient evidence for the case to proceed to trial.
The hearing was postponed
after Miller’s attorney asked for a competency evaluation to determine
whether Miller is able to assist with his defense.
Miller told The Star that
he wants to act as his own attorney in court.
“My case is that what I did
was justifiable,” he said. “According to the Declaration of Independence,
it says that when a government conspires to destroy a people, it is not
only the duty of the people, it is their right to rebel and replace that
Miller said Johnson County
prosecutor Steve Howe is using the case for political gain, wanting “to
get as much mileage out of me as he possibly can.”
He said he doesn’t want to
delay the trial because of his declining health.
“I smoked for 54 years,”
he said. “I quit almost five years ago, but I waited too late to quit.”
He said he’d “already had several near-death experiences.”
“I just want to live long
enough to have my day in court. But trouble is, the DA is going to stretch
the damned thing out so long I won’t live long enough.”
Zeskind, author of “Blood
and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement From the Margins
to the Mainstream,” has been keeping track of Miller and his organizations
“What motivated this guy
is a set of horrible ideas that have remained in our society since the
end of slavery and the close of the war against the Nazis in World War
II,” he said. “It has stuck with us, and we have not succeeded in building
a perfect wall against this form of bigotry.
“That’s why we have to talk
to and understand the motivation of these white supremacists. And we have
to understand them in their own words so that we as informed citizens can
draw the appropriate conclusions.”
Levin said Miller’s actions
showed how hate can consume a person.
“And the only way a person
can think who is engorged by that much hatred is to say that I’ve won and
my hateful attitudes are going to now be disseminated to populations,”
he said. “No. He’s lived his life as a failure and will die a failure.”
The Ellzey Affair:
Statements, News Reports, Comment
Contacts: Sheila Sonnenschein,
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Rev. Mary McCoy, Co-Convener
P. O. Box 2117
Mission, KS 66202
August 8, 2014
DEPLORES ANTI-MUSLIM SENTIMENT
It has come to the attention of the Greater
Kansas City Interfaith Council that an official of the Kansas Republican
3rd Congressional District Committee recently issued a highly-prejudicial
and inflammatory anti-Muslim statement on Twitter. As shocking as
the “tweet” itself, the Kansas Republican Party has disavowed any responsibility
for “public statements of private citizens” and has refused to issue an
apology for the since-deleted “tweet” or to remove the official from his
post, although the official himself has since resigned.
In these days of shootings and tension,
both locally and internationally, there is no excuse for such irresponsible
language and incitement, in particular from officials of civic and political
organizations.Interfaith dialogue is important, for the purpose of learning
and healing, but no “conversation”or communication against any religion
is acceptable, as its only purpose is to spread hatred and misunderstanding.
The Greater Kansas City Interfaith
Council deplores bigotry in all forms and calls on all citizens to always
keep in mind how thoughtless language can lead to reckless behavior and
to act with compassion in all communications and endeavors.
CPS Calls On GOP
To Repudiate Incendiary
Of Republican Party Official
(Overland Park, KS. 8/5/14) -- The Crescent
Peace Society (CPS) today called on Congressman Kevin Yoder and also requests
that the Republican Party of Kansas repudiate remarks by one of its officials
inciting violence towards Muslims.
Gavin Ellzey, the Kansas Republican Party
3rd District Vice-Chair recently tweeted: “Offending Muslims is the duty
of any civilized person. Especially with a .45.”
CPS called on Congressman Yoder and the
party to denounce the incendiary anti-Muslim comments and asked for an
apology. "Anti-Muslim bigotry should have no place in the Republican Party
and those expressing such intolerant views should be held accountable,"
said Ahsan Latif, President of CPS.
“Especially in light of the recent shootings
in this very community at the Overland Park Jewish Community Center and
Village Shalom, targeting our Jewish brothers and sisters, it is outrageous
and harmful for a leader within the Republican party to make comments condoning
and encouraging the use of violence against a religious minority,” Latif
There are several mosques operating in
Johnson County with large, peaceful congregations. A week ago, on
July 28, 2014, thousands of Muslims attended Eid prayers at the Overland
Park Convention Center celebrating the end of Ramadan.
“There are many opportunities for Mr. Ellzey
to meet with members of the Muslim community in Johnson County and see
for himself that the citizenry of this area includes a vibrant Muslim community
who are happy, productive and respected Americans,” said Latif. “On
August 16, 2014, CPS will be holding its 18th Annual Eid Celebration and
Awards Banquet at the Overland Park Marriott at 6 PM. We would be
happy to have Mr. Ellzey, but we would request he leave his .45 at home.”
The Crescent Peace Society is a Kansas
City area interfaith organization seeking to enhance the understanding
of Muslim cultures through educational and cultural activities involving
the exchange of ideas and experiences among the people of diverse cultures.
Its mission is to build bridges among faith communities, encourage dialogue,
and promote justice and mutual understanding. More information about the
Crescent Peace Society can be found at www.crescentpeace.org.
CONTACT: Crescent Peace Society
President Ahsan Latif, 913-485-9218, firstname.lastname@example.org; Board Member
Mahnaz Shabbir, 816-213-2536.
The Kansas City Star.
08/07/2014 10:59 PM
Local Kansas GOP
‘Offending Muslims is
the duty of any civilized person.
Especially with a .45.’
Gavin Ellzey, the vice chairman of the
Kansas Republican 3rd Congressional District Committee, advised on Twitter
in early July that “offending Muslims is the duty of any civilized person.”
Ellzey added, “Especially with a .45.”
In an interview with The Star, the Overland
Park resident acknowledged writing the tweet in response to television
news reports about Christians being “crucified” overseas.
“Sometimes you overreact,” Ellzey said.
“I’ve had folks call me,” he added. “I’m
not trying to offend anybody. I sure wouldn’t shoot anybody. I don’t even
own a gun.”
He said he later deleted the tweet.
Mahnaz Shabbir of the Crescent Peace Society
said she was shocked when she saw the tweet.
“We’ve been doing a lot of work in the
community to try to help others understand who we are,” she said. “When
something like this comes across my computer, my first reaction is like,
are you kidding me?”
She pointed out the tweet came just months
after the shootings at the Jewish Community Center.
Shabbir said that Ellzey should be removed
from his minor party office and that the Kansas GOP should apologize.
Clay Barker, executive director of the
Kansas Republican Party, said the state party has “no responsibility for
or connection to the public statements of private citizens who perform
volunteer work for the party.”
He added that the “party in no way shares
Ellzey’s sentiments on Muslims.”
Barker said new party officers would be
selected in about two months in the wake of Tuesday night’s primary.
Told that the words were explosive, Ellzey
said, “You’re right,” and said at another point, “I’m not trying to give
offense to anybody.”
To reach Steve Kraske, call
816-234-4312 or send email to email@example.com.
The Kansas City Star. LEWIS DIUGUID
08/07/2014 5:05 PM
Kansas GOP official
following racist tweet
There is no excuse for the offensive and
racist tweet from Gavin Ellzey against Muslims.
Ellzey is the vice chairman of the Kansas
Republican 3rd Congressional District Committee. He said on Twitter in
early July that “offending Muslims is the duty of any civilized person”
— adding, “Especially with a .45,” The Kansas City Star reported.
That was a reference to a .45-caliber firearm.
Ellzey of Overland Park admitted to writing the tweet, saying it was in
response to TV news reports of attacks on Christians. “Sometimes you overreact,”
Ellzey told The Star.
Mahnaz Shabbir, a Kansas City area Muslim
advocate with the Crescent Peace Society, was right to criticize Ellzey
for his horrific tweets. But she didn’t go far enough.
The Republican Party can hardly afford
to have anyone in a leadership position spewing that kind of hatred. Ellzey
did the right thing and resigned Wednesday night, but he should also publicly
His kind of intolerance must never be tolerated.
The Kansas City Star. 08/07/2014
Local GOP official Gavin
resigns over Muslim comments
Gavin Ellzey, vice chairman of the Kansas
GOP’s 3rd District Congressional Committee, resigned Wednesday night just
hours after his tweet encouraging the offending of Muslims became the focus
of news stories.
In a brief email to Clay Barker, the Kansas
GOP’s executive director, and 3rd District chairwoman Vicki Sciolaro, Ellzey
said he was stepping down immediately.
“I feel that is the best for the GOP,”
He sent the message at 8:50 p.m. Wednesday,
about four hours after The Star posted a story about Ellzey’s comments
Local Kansas GOP official: ‘Offending Muslims
is the duty of any civilized person. Especially with a .45.’
In a tweet in early July, Ellzey wrote
that “offending Muslims is the duty of any civilized person,” and added,
“especially with a .45.”
In an interview, the Overland Park resident
said he had overreacted to news reports about Christians being “crucified”
overseas. He said he had no intention of shooting anyone and did not own
To reach Steve Kraske, call 816-234-4312
or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two More Ellzey FB Posts
Turn Iran into a sheet of radioactive glass.
And if the Muslims don't like it, do the same to Mecca.
February 23, 2012 at 10:31pm
Palestine = parking lot for Israeli jets.
Time to make that happen .
March 12, 2012 at 5:15pm ?
A Gavin Ellzey is
listed as a member of the Society of Fellows at the Nelson-Atkins Museum
of Art. If this is the same person, the two Islamic Art exhibits this year
apparently have been ineffective in this case.
Since he also has
been identified with a specifically Jewish group of Republicans, one wishes
the Jewish Community Relations Bureau/ American Jewish Committee would
also disavow Ellzey's tweets, and one wishes Congressman Kevin Yoder, whose
office simply told me they have no responsibility for the 3d District GOP
official's comments, would reassure his commitment to the safety of all
Finally, one wishes
that Gavin Ellzey would become acquainted with some of the many wonderful
Muslims in the Kansas City area who serve the community in many ways as