‘I know they’re in heaven together,’ says woman who lost son, dad

Kansas Jewish Center Shooting - April 13
(CNN) — The shootings at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kansas, and at the Village Shalom Retirement Community in Leawood claimed three lives — a grandfather and grandson, and a woman whose identity has not been released by authorities.

Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, faces charges of premeditated first-degree murder. He is expected to appear in court Monday.

The shooting victims are:

1. Reat Griffin Underwood — The 14-year-old high school freshman was shot in the parking lot of the Jewish Community Center. The teen, who had a “beautiful voice,” was there to audition for “KC Superstar,” an “American Idol”-style contest for the best high school singer in the Kansas City area. Shot in the car his grandfather was driving, Reat died later of his injuries.

At a vigil Sunday night at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Reat’s mom walked up to the podium and introduced herself as the mother and daughter of the community center victims. The gathered gasped.

Mindy Corporon then remembered her son as someone who loved acting and singing.

“I was there before the police and I was there before the ambulance,” she said. “And I knew immediately that they were in heaven, and I know that they’re in heaven together.”

“I got to tell both of them today that I loved them. I was the last person in the family who saw them.”

Blue Valley High School, which Reat attended, said it will have counselors available Monday even though the school is not in session.

“I had the opportunity to get to know Reat earlier this year at our annual Blue Valley Educational Foundation breakfast. Reat sang the national anthem to begin the breakfast, and his talents were on full display that morning,” said Tom Trigg, superintendent of schools.

2. William Lewis Corporon — Reat’s grandfather and a doctor, Corporon practiced family medicine in Oklahoma for many years before moving to the Kansas City area to be closer to family.

“He cherished his family,” the family said in a statement.

Corporon was taking his grandson to the center for his audition when they were shot in a car outside the facility.

Mindy Corporon said her dad had offered to take Reat to the audition because she was with her other son at a lacrosse game.

Jacob Schreiber, president of the community center, remembered the family fondly.

“This is one of the nicest, kindest, most supportive families that we have here,” he said. “This has left us all breathless.”

The Corporons were active members of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood.

“They have a deep faith. They don’t believe this was God’s time,” said the Rev. Adam Hamilton, the church’s pastor. “They don’t believe God wanted a man to pick up a gun and start this shooting.”

“This is the darkest thing a parent can imagine to happen and this woman has lost her father and her son,” Hamilton said, referring to Reat’s mother.

The funeral service for Corporon and Reat is planned for Good Friday.

3. Unidentified woman — A woman was shot and killed in the parking lot of the Village Shalom Retirement Community in Leawood. Police did not release the woman’s name or additional details about her.

By Ed Payne and Matthew Stucker, CNN

The-CNN-Wire
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