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Leaders react to 3 deaths at Kansas Jewish sites

Monday - 4/14/2014, 4:32pm  ET

President Barack Obama closes his eyes as Dr. Joel C. Hunter, senior pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed, in Longwood, Fla., says the prayer during the Easter Prayer Breakfast, Monday, April 14, 2014, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. President Barack Obama honored those killed in a weekend attack on two Jewish facilities in Kansas, saying no one should have to worry about their security while gathering with their fellow believers. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Political and religious leaders expressed sympathy after three people were fatally shot Sunday at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement complex near Kansas City. Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, of Aurora, Mo., a known white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader, is jailed on a preliminary charge of first-degree murder.

-- "Michelle and I offer our thoughts and prayers to the families and friends who lost a loved one and everyone affected by this tragedy. I have asked my team to stay in close touch with our federal, state and local partners and provide the necessary resources to support the ongoing investigation. While we do not know all of the details surrounding today's shooting, the initial reports are heartbreaking. I want to offer my condolences to all the families trying to make sense of this difficult situation and pledge the full support from the federal government as we heal and cope during this trying time." -- President Barack Obama.

-- "We condemn the murders, which according to all the signs were committed from hatred of Jews. ... The state of Israel together with all civilized people is committed to fighting against this plague." -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

-- "No community should have to face a moment such as this one ... Today, on the eve of Pesach, we are left to contemplate how we must continue our work building a world in which all people are free to live their lives without the threat of terror." -- Michael Siegal, chair of the Jewish Federations of North America.

-- "My deepest regrets are with the victims' loved ones and my thoughts are with the entire community, which has had its sense of comfort and safety threatened by today's events. I join all Kansans in proclaiming that these horrific acts of violence have absolutely no place in our communities, our state or our country." --U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas.

-- "On the eve of the Passover holiday, where Jews around the world celebrate the festival when the ancient Israelites broke the shackles of tyranny, the Jewish community of Kansas City was struck by a tyrant." -- Rabbi Marvin Heir, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization.

-- "My heart and prayers are with all those who were affected by today's events. We will pursue justice aggressively for these victims and criminal charges against the perpetrator or perpetrators to the full extent of the law." -- Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.

-- "American Muslims join their fellow citizens in standing in solidarity with the American Jewish community in condemning this deadly hate attack and in offering condolences to the loved ones of those killed and injured. We are saddened by this vicious act of hatred. Americans of all faiths must join together to reject the kind of extremist ideologies that can lead to such inexcusable and unconscionable acts." -- Council of American-Islamic Relations, the largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S.

-- "We stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters during this tragic time and pray that God Almighty provides everyone comfort and protection. ... The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association strongly condemns targeting innocent individuals based on faith and believes in every one's right to freedom of (or from) religion." -- The nationwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association.

-- "This kind of senseless attack on our community is repugnant any day, but choosing Passover as a time to demonstrate this hateful intolerance shows how disturbed this person must be. This suspect clearly has a history of outrageous behavior, and I join all Missourians in condemning this devastating act of violence." - U.S. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri.

-- "News of such senseless acts of violence is truly devastating. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families, as well as the Jewish community and its leaders. ... I cannot begin to understand what kind of profound sorrow is being felt by those family members and loved ones faced with this tragic loss." -- Rep. Sam Graves of Missouri.


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