Memorial Dedicated For Victims Of Jewish Community Center Shooting
This story was updated on Wednesday at 9:59 a.m.
Two years after an avowed anti-Semite killed three people outside the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom, a memorial has been dedicated in their honor.
Artist Jesse Small sculpted the three stainless ripples to represent the three lives cut short on April 13, 2014, at the two Overland Park, Kansas, Jewish sites.
“He came back with this, and it’s just perfect,” said Mindy Corporon. She lost her father, William Corporon, and 14-year-old son, Reat Underwood, in the shooting. “He took a look at our website. He read about the ripples. He talked to our family. ... It’s for Terri, Dad and Reat.”
The third victim, Terri LaManno, was killed outside nearby Village Shalom.
At a private dedication, Corporon explained it was too painful for her husband, Len Losen, and younger son, Lukas Losen, to attend.
“Everyone grieves in different ways,” Corporon said. “So we’re going to take an opportunity to look at the sculpture on our own at a later date.”
LaManno’s husband, Jim LaManno, said he often wonders how he got to where he is today.
“I at times feel as though I am the unluckiest man in the world and yet the luckiest man in the world,” LaManno said. “Unlucky in the fact that what was most precious to me was stolen away in the blink of an eye. Lucky in the fact that I have been nurtured by family and friends who have not allowed me to fall into inconsolable despair.”
Together the two families have launched Give Seven Days, a celebration of interfaith values such as kindness and compassion.
Though shooter Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. targeted Jews, none of his victims were Jewish. Cross, who also uses the surname Miller, has been sentenced to death for the three murders.
Also this week, both the LaManno and Corporon familes filed lawsuits seeking damages against the gun dealers from whom Cross acquired the guns he used in the shootings.
The LaMannos' lawsuit, filed in Jackson County Circuit Court, names Wal-Mart, Friendly Firearms LLC and John Mark Reidle, the man who purchased one of the guns Cross used. Reidle pleaded guilty to lying on a federal form that he was buying the weapon for his own use.
The Corporon family filed similar lawsuits against Wal-Mart in Johnson County District Court on behalf of the estates of William Corporon and Reat Underwood, respectively.
Elle Moxley is a reporter for KCUR. You can reach her on Twitter @ellemoxley.