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Family, friends remember Kansas City shooting victims

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 | 7:43 a.m. CDT; updated 9:35 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, April 15, 2014

*CORRECTION: Mindy Corporon is the mother of the 14-year-old victim. A previous version of this article misidentified her.

LEAWOOD, Kan. — William Lewis Corporon was taking his grandson to a singing audition at a community center. Terri LaManno was visiting her mother at a nearby retirement complex.

It was a seemingly quiet spring Sunday, but neither Corporon nor his grandson or LaManno made it home alive, their lives cut short by a shooting spree that targeted the two Jewish facilities in the mostly affluent suburb of Kansas City known as Overland Park.

Investigators have not revealed any motive for the attack, though suspected gunman Frazier Glenn Cross had a long history of white-supremacist activities and anti-Semitic beliefs. Never mind that Corporon and his grandson were Methodist, and LaManno was Catholic.

Cross, 73, has been jailed awaiting charges that investigators said could come as early as Tuesday.

Mindy Corporon* said her father, a 69-year-old physician, and her son were headed for the "KC Superstar" competition, an American Idol-like singing contest for high school students.

Dressed in a coat and tie, 14-year-old son Reat Griffin Underwood practiced two songs — "On the Street Where You Live" from "My Fair Lady" and "You Will Miss Me When I'm Gone" — before getting a kiss and "I love you" from his mom and leaving with the grandpa he knew as "Popeye."

Mindy Corporon* went to a lacrosse game but found it canceled, then headed to the community center to watch her son perform.

What she saw instead was horror: The two had been randomly ambushed, each shot in the head outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City.

Corporon* said she spotted her father's pickup truck, its doors open and her dad motionless. At first, she thought he had suffered a heart attack but soon knew otherwise.

"Very quickly, I realized it wasn't that, and I knew that my dad was in heaven," she said.

Corporon* ran around the vehicle and saw her son on the ground, two strangers attending to him. Before she could get closer, a man approached her, hugged her tightly and led her from the scene.

She said she later learned that neither her son nor father had felt any pain or had seen the attack coming.

Minutes later, LaManno was gunned down outside the Village Shalom assisted living center.

LaManno, 53, was eulogized Monday as a devoted Catholic wife with two college-age children. Her St. Peter's Parish described her as "a gentle and giving woman," as did the Children's Center for the Visually Impaired, where LaManno worked as an occupational therapist for eight years.

"She was honestly one of the kindest people I've met," said Nicola Heskett, the center's executive director. "She was always gracious, always full of gratitude."


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