By all accounts, Reat Underwood was the all-American boy.
Reat, 14, was one of three people killed in a gunman's rampage at two Jewish sites on Passover eve in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park.
He had gone to the Jewish Community Center on Sunday with his grandfather, physician William Corporan, 69, to try out for the KC SuperStar singing and scholarship competition. White Christians, both were fatally shot. The third victim, shot outside the Village Shalom retirement home, was Terri LaManno, 53.
Reat was an Eagle scout who enjoyed spending time camping and hunting with his grandfather, father and brother, a family statement said.
Reat was a freshman at Blue Valley High School, where he was involved in debate and theater and had a beautiful voice, schools Superintendent Tom Trigg said.
The school has almost 1,500 students, but Principal Scott Bacon told USA TODAY that Reat made a positive impression right away, at the annual Blue Valley Educational Foundation breakfast that draws almost 1,000 people.
He sang the national anthem, Bacon said. I realized very quickly we had a young man with tremendous talent in our school. I was certainly impressed by his presentation in front of such a large audience. I saw him as a young man with great promise.
Bacon said he often saw Reat chatting with other students in the hallways. Bacon said Reat already had become a fixture at singing events in the school, including the annual musical this year Guys and Dolls.
This was a traumatic event for our school community, Bacon said.
The high school had planned an in-service day for teachers Monday, so no classes were scheduled. But counselors were being made available for students, Trigg said.
Trigg also was at the breakfast and knew Reat.
His talents were on full display that morning, he said, adding that he found Reat to be an engaging and exceptional young man.
Reat had a passion for life, and touched so many people in his young age, a family statement said.
Reat was still in his grandfather's truck when police say Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, opened fire at the community center, killing Reat and his grandfather, then fired shots outside the nearby Village Shalom retirement home. The identity of a woman killed there was not immediatley released.
Cross, also known as Frazier Glenn Miller, is a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan with a long history of running illegal paramilitary organizations and intimidating minorities, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
We're investigating it as a hate crime. We're investigating it as a murder, said Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass.
Corporon practiced medicine in Oklahoma from 1976 through 2003, when he and his wife moved to the Overland Park area to be closer to their grandchildren, according to a family statement.
LaManno, whose mother lives in Village Shalom, was the mother of two and an occupational therapist at the Children's Center for the Visually Impaired, The Kansas City Star reported.
The family members are long-time parishioners at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Kansas City, where a rosary was said for LaManno after Monday morning Mass, the Star said.