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Springfield Rabbi Following KC Shootings: We Have to Keep Working on Repairing the World

73-year-old Frazier Glenn Miller Aurora, Mo. has been arrested in connection to Sunday's shootings/Credit: Johnston County

The Leader of Temple Israel in Springfield says she feels terrible for the actions that claimed three lives in Kansas City Sunday, but is not surprised by the hatred still present towards certain groups.

Rabbi Rita Sherwin’s comments Monday afternoon came as authorities say there is enough evidence to warrant a hate-crimes prosecution in the shooting spree at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement complex.

Sherwin says “as a human race we still have a lot of hate and we still need to work on it,” noting existing anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim and anti-Christian sentiment, racism, as well as homophobia.

“This is so ironic that this happened on the eve of Pessah, or Passover, because Passover is such a joyous holiday and it’s all about working in the world for freedom and peace, and how we need to reach out to other people,” Sherwin said.

The suspect in the case, Frazier Glenn Cross of Aurora, is jailed in Johnson County, Kan. He is expected to be charged Tuesday.

One of the victims, 53-year-old Terri LaManno, was an occupational therapist at Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired. Her daughter, 23-year-old Alissa, is a senior at Missouri State University.

In a statement, Mike Jungers, dean of students said, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of all the victims of this tragic, senseless act, including Missouri State student Alissa LaManno who lost her mother."

Jungers added that the university will be offering the full support of its resources to help Alissa, and other students who are close to her.

The other two victims in the shootings are Dr. Lewis William Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood.

Cross has been tracked for years by organizations that monitor hate groups. Southern Poverty Law Center says he's a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan and spent time in prison for weapons convictions and other charges. He reportedly yelled “Heil Hitler” as he was arrested Sunday.

Rabbi Sherwin says she is familiar with Cross, who also goes by Glenn Miller.

“The way that I know about him is the newsletter that he would publish and mail out. He massed mailed it and a lot of Jewish people got it, and a lot of non-Jewish people got it, and it was a very hateful letter.”

She says the most recent newsletter she recalls was from roughly five years ago.

Sherwin adds that with Passover beginning Monday evening and Easter upcoming, Jews and Christians in particular should recognize that this is a time for hope, and “that we can’t give up, we have to keep working on repairing the world.”