Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Minority Attacks Continue Suspect Strikes at Indiana Church

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Minority Attacks Continue Suspect Strikes at Indiana Church

Article excerpt

INDIANAPOLIS -- A gunman who allegedly targeted minorities in a deadly shooting spree in Chicago shot and killed a man yesterday outside a Korean church in Bloomington, Ind., police said.

Authorities linked the alleged gunman to a white supremacist group.

Police were searching for Benjamin Daniel Smith, who allegedly was driving a blue Ford Taurus and sped away after firing four shots into a crowd of worshippers as they left church about 11:30 a.m.

The identity of the victim was not immediately known.

Bloomington Police Chief Jim Kennedy said Smith is member of the World Church of the Creator, an organization that distributed anti-minority and anti-Semitic literature in Bloomington last year, when Smith was a student at Indiana University.

"The material he is passing out represents extreme rightwing views. It's very anti-minority, veryanti-Semitic and it certainly alarmed the people in this community," Kennedy said.

Kennedy said Smith matched descriptions provided by Chicago police of the gunman being sought in connection with several attacks in Illinois on Friday night. Those attacks left a black former college basketball coach dead, and six Orthodox Jews wounded.

In yesterday's attack, the churchgoer was hit twice in the back and killed, Kennedy said. After firing into the crowd, the man sped off and ran several lights as he headed east, he said.

"He was apparently parked at the corner and waited for these people to come out of church and then fired," Kennedy said.

Police said they planned to have an arrest warrant for Smith.

Witnesses told police the shots in the Chicago-area attacks were all fired from a light blue Ford Taurus. The gunman was described as a white man in his late 20s.

"He said nothing to anybody. He just fired on them," said Chicago Police Lt. Nick Nickeas.

Killed in one of those attacks was former Northwestern University coach Ricky Byrdsong, who died after being shot in the back while walking near his home in the suburb of Skokie. Two of his three children were with him. They were not injured.

The gunman also shot at, but did not hit, an Asian-American couple, police said. …

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