Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass confirmed Monday it is investigating the shooting deaths of three people near Jewish centers in the Kansas City suburbs as a hate crime.
Explaining the one-day delay, Chief Douglass said it took some time to make sure the incident met the legal definition of a hate crime, because it is not merely a matter of opinion.
Its status means local authorities will work with federal authorities on the case.
Police arrested and charged Frazier Glenn Cross, a 73-year-old Missouri man with a long track record of anti-Semitism, with multiple counts of murder for the killings Sunday of a grandfather and his 14-year-old grandson outside a Jewish community center and another woman a few blocks away at Village Shalom, a retirement community.
U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said the victims had encountered "evil" firsthand.
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