“I was definitely very shocked and concerned [when I heard about the shooting],” senior Cicely Krebill, who is a junior camp counselor during the summer, said. “The J has been my home away from home for the past two summers and it’s such a great community. It really hit close to home.”
The shooter, a man in his 70s with a beard, was arrested around 2:45 p.m. at the nearby Valley Park Elementary school. The man made anti-Semitic remarks as he was being led away, the Kansas City Star reported.
The JCC and Village Shalom went into lockdown after hearing the gunshots. At the time of the shooting, there were auditions for Kansas City SuperStar and rehearsals for “To Kill a Mockingbird”.
Paris Naster, a student at Blue Valley North, was at the JCC during the shooting. Naster was auditioning for the KC SuperStar, an American Idol style competition open to high schoolers in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
“I didn’t know what was happening,” Naster said. “I thought someone was vomiting in the lobby or maybe having a panic attack. But when we heard about the shooting, I started to cry a little bit, but us older people had to stay calm because there was a camp of autistic children in the room with us.”
According to Naster, they learned that there was a lockdown because of a shooting 15 minutes after going into a lockdown.
After about an hour and a half, everyone was released from the lockdown. The police, with the help of the FBI, are continuing their investigation of the shooting. An interfaith service will be held at 8 p.m. on Sunday, April 13 at St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church.