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Police Increase Security Around Jewish Centers After Shooting

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Ileto Christie 370x278 (2) Christie Ileto
Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As Passover begins and Jews celebrate freedom from oppression, a man is under arrest–suspected of shooting and killing three people outside Jewish-affiliated facilities near Kansas City.

Christie Ileto has more on the precautions synagogues are taking across the country and here in Maryland.

Investigators say Frazier Glenn Cross was propelled by hate when he shot and killed three people in a Kansas City suburb. He’s accused of killing a 14-year-old and his grandfather outside a Jewish community center and a woman outside a Jewish retirement community on Passover Eve. All three were Christians.

“I’ve been to that JCC before,” said John Falk.

Falk at Hopkins Hillel says he was just there in December.

“I can’t believe someone came on to that campus and started shooting. To me, it’s something that kills at the heart,” he said.

Cross is a former leader of the KKK with a history of spewing hate speech against Jews, African-Americans and immigrants.

Following the atrocities in Kansas, both Baltimore City and Baltimore County Police say they’re doing their part to make sure something like that doesn’t happen here.

“Our district commanders moved resources in place to make sure we could have a visible presence. Obviously we want to make sure everyone is safe moving into the holiday tonight,” said Lt. Eric Kowalczyk, Baltimore City Police.

City police say that means beefing up patrols with marked cop cars and plainclothes officers outside area Jewish community centers during Passover.

“I think it makes moments like this more important that we can come together and understand we were once enslaved and now free but that freedom is not respected by all people,” said Frank Schiff.

If the suspected shooter is convicted of a hate crime, the death penalty could be on the table under federal law.

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