(WTVM) - Hate is what authorities say fueled 73-year-old Frazier Glenn Cross to shoot and kill three people on Sunday, April 13 at two Jewish Community centers in Kansas City.
Being charged with a hate crime means that Cross could face both federal and state charges.
"Sometimes it's more subtle as far as the motivation based on a biased and then other times it is very evident from the initial action itself. The incident in Kansas City came to light pretty quick," explains Sheriff Jay Jones of the Lee County Sheriff's Department.
Hate crimes are motivated by biases based on race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity and disability and have dropped in numbers in recent years in the United States.
According to the FBI, there were 5,796 hate crime incidents in 2012 compared with 6,222 reports in 2011.
Racial motivation make up nearly half of all hate crimes, followed by sexual orientation.
"We don't see many instances of hate crimes in Lee County, in our jurisdiction. Not to say that we haven't had any, we have, but it's not something that is very common at all. It's rare as a matter of fact," says Jones.
Experts believe people are motivated to commit hate crimes when they feel threatened by change.
The Internet is also to blame.
According to an organization that tracks hate groups, Cross had posted over 12,000 messages on the website Stormfront.org, whose slogan is "No Jews, No Right."
Users of this site were responsible for over 100 murders in the past five years.
"Obviously the individual had a biased against a particular group," says Jones, "and certainly that fell within the perimeter of a hate crime."