OLATHE, Kan. — Law enforcement officers who responded in the chaotic first moments after three people were fatally shot at two Jewish centers in Kansas last year had no idea how dire the situation was, two officers testified Wednesday.
Avowed white supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller Jr. was in court for a judge to consider requests filed on his behalf to suppress certain evidence, including testimony from first responders, from his upcoming capital murder trial. Previous attorneys for the Aurora, Missouri, man filed the motions, but Miller is now representing himself after firing his attorneys last month.
At one point Wednesday afternoon, Miller, 74, interrupted an officer's testimony to ask that the motions, which the state opposes, be withdrawn. He called the hearing "Ryan said.
One motion seeks to suppress evidence gathered from the scene where William Lewis Corporon, 69, and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, were killed in the parking lot of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park. It also seeks to suppress evidence from the nearby Village Shalom retirement home where 53-year-old Terri LaMano was gunned down.
Another motion asks the judge to suppress statements made by witnesses. Among the witnesses testifying Wednesday were law enforcement officers who responded to the scene.
Overland Park police Capt. Marty Ingram, who was working off duty at the Jewish Center, described the confusion after shots rang out just after 1 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon when hundreds of people had gathered for various activities, including auditions for a singing competition.
At first, it was unclear what was going on, Ingram said, including how many people were involved in the shootings.
"We didn't know how big the situation was," he said.
Ingram said that after Miller was arrested at an area elementary school parking lot, he asked how many Jews he had killed. All three were Christians.
On cross-examination, Miller asked Ingram several unrelated questions that Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said were out of line. Ryan sustained that objection and four others regarding relevance of Miller's questions before the defendant said he was finished with that witness.
Former defenders for Miller are acting as stand-by counsel but did not participating in the hearing.
The trial for Miller, who has told The Associated Press and several outlets that he is dying from emphysema, is scheduled for August.