Police said that a gunman opened fire at two Jewish facilities in suburban Kansas City on Sunday. Three people were killed and two others were injured.
Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass said that authorities are looking to see if it was a hate crime.
“It’s too early in the investigation to try to label it. We know it’s a vicious act of violence. Obviously, at two Jewish facilities, one might make that assumption, but we’re going to have to know more about it,” he said.
The shootings took place at Village Shalom in Leawood, Kansas, and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City.
Authorities arrested the suspected shooter at a nearby elementary school after the shootings took place, according to Douglass. He’s a bearded man in his 70s, isn’t from Kansas, and didn’t appear to know the victims.
Douglass said that a shotgun was involved in the shootings. Authorities are looking to see whether other weapons were also involved.
Police haven’t released the identities of the suspect or the people he allegedly gunned down.
According to the Kansas City Star, “the gunfire erupted at the community center as hundreds of high school singers from across the metro area were readying to audition for the KC SuperStar singing scholarship contest and actors were rehearsing for a production of To Kill a Mockingbird.”
Jeff Nessel told the Kansas City Star that he had just dropped his son off at the community center when he was told by a staff member to get back inside because a shooting had taken place.
“We’ll keep you on lockdown. You’re safe here,” Nessel said a staff member told him.
The Jewish Community Center sent its condolences to the victim’s families and said that no shots were fired on its Facebook page. The center will be closed on Monday.
“Again, our hearts go out to all those affected and touched by this terrible tragedy,” it said.