Local and federal prosecutors are working on charges for the man arrested in connection with the shooting spree that killed three people Sunday in the midwestern U.S. state of Kansas.
Officials are expected to give more information about the charges Tuesday, and have said the killings outside a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement complex were a hate crime.
The suspect in the case, 73-year-old Frazier Glenn Cross, is a longtime white supremacist and Ku Klux Klan member.
Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, says Cross has a particular hatred for Jews.
“Although Miller really was a Klansman to begin with, fundamentally he was a neo-Nazi, meaning that for him, as he said pretty recently, Jews were a thousand times worse than black people, brown people, gay people, the whole laundry list,” he said.
President Barack Obama said at a White House prayer breakfast Monday that religious violence has no place in U.S. society.
“Nobody should have to worry about their security when gathering with their fellow believers. No one should ever have to fear for their safety when they go to pray,” he said.
Mr. Obama said the fact the attack came as Jews prepared to celebrate Passover and Christians prepare for Easter makes the tragedy “all the more painful.”
In the 1980s, Cross led a chapter of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan and another group called the White Patriot Party. He was sentenced to five years in prison for threatening war against Jews, blacks, homosexuals and government officials.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a prominent U.S. civil rights organization, said it earlier sued Cross for “using intimidation tactics against African Americans.” The group said the two parties reached an agreement for his group to stop operating as a paramilitary organization, but that he violated the order and was sentenced to six months in prison for contempt.