'Fighting Extinction': Boston-area Shooter, Rapist Targeted Non-whites

January 2009: A white supremacist named Keith Luke embarks on a killing rampage in Brockton, Mass., raping and wounding a black woman and killing her sister, then killing a homeless man before being captured by police as he is en route to a Jewish community center.

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[Photo by Tim Correira, The Enterprise]

Breaking news out of Boston:

A man accused of a horrific rape and killing spree told investigators that he was "fighting extinction" of the white race and had stockpiled 200 rounds of ammunition to "kill 'nonwhite people' such as African Americans, Hispanics and Jewish people," according to a police report filed today in court.

After forcing his way into a home and raping a 22-year-old woman, the alleged assailant, Keith Luke, shot and killed the woman's younger sister, who tried to help her. Luke, 22, then allegedly turned his fury back on the rape victim, firing his gun through a white teddy bear that she clutched in terror, police said.

Down the street, Luke allegedly opened fire and killed a homeless man who happened by pushing a shopping cart. He told police after his arrest that he had planned to go to a synagogue near his home and, "kill as many Jews as possible during bingo night," according to the report. "Luke told us that he intended to shoot himself in the head when he was through."

Rabbi Joshua Cohen of Temple Beth Emunah, a Conservative synagogue in the neighborhood where Luke lives, said a Massachusetts state trooper and Brockton police officer told him this morning that Luke evidently had planned to continue his rampage at the temple. The synagogue has a bingo night Wednesday starting at 6:30 p.m.

Cohen said he has never heard of Luke and believes the man had randomly decided to target the synagogue. Investigators told Cohen that Luke was acting alone.

"Through hard work and a lot of luck, the police were able to apprehend him before he was able to inflict more damage and more death and destruction," Cohen said. "As much as we like to think we’ve moved forward in our society and culture, hate and racism still exist, and it’s really unfortunate."

On Wednesday, Luke allegedly fired at police as he was pursued in his van across Brockton, a chase that ended in a crash at East Ashland and North Quincy streets. Sitting in the back of the squad car, he muttered unintelligibly, according to the report, about "the Zionist occupation" and about how, "I was supposed to be executed today."

Following last summer's church shootings in Knoxville, as well as the various acts of violence and threats following Barack Obama's election, we may be seeing the beginnings of a dangerous trend here.

I have a book coming out in May titled The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right which is aimed at exploring the roots of these actions. It's looking like it will be timely indeed.

[H/t to Mark Potok.]

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