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April 13, 2014

Bill Corporon, former Duncan physician, slain in Kansas with grandson

70-year-old gunman arrested

DUNCAN — Dr. William Corporon, who practiced medicine for years in Duncan before moving to Kansas, and his 14-year-old grandson were shot to death on Sunday in Overland Park, Kan. by a gunman who went on to kill a third person at a nearby assisted living center, authorities said.

Corporon and his grandson were apparently random victims of the killer, the family friend said Sunday. They were killed as they exited their vehicle at a Jewish Community Center, where Corporon had taken his grandson to attend a show audition, the famly friend said. 

The suspect was arrested after he allegedly drove to an assisted living center and shot an elderly woman, authorities said.

Corporon, 69, lived in Marlow when he practiced medicine in Duncan. He was active in Duncan Little Theater and is remembered by many even though he and his family left the Duncan area at least 10 years ago, said the family friend, who asked not to be identified.

The friend said Corporon and his grandson Reat Griffin Underwood were random victims with no connection to the Jewish Community Center or the gunman.

Police arrested the suspected shooter, a man in his 70s with a beard, outside an elementary school. . He smiled and reportedly made anti-Semitic statements as he was led away, the Kansas City Star reported.

Police said the man, who was not from Kansas, used a shotgun in the slayings at the Jewish Community Center. He also had a handgun when he was arrested.

Corporon attended the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan.

The Rev. Adam Hamilton, the church’s senior pastor, shared the news with church members at the beginning of the evening Palm Sunday service. He said he spoke to the victims’ family in the hours after the shooting, and they asked him to go through with the Sunday evening worship service.

The lights were lowered as Hamilton asked members to pray for the family.

“Help us, oh, Lord to grieve as people of hope,” Hamilton said.

Underwood was a freshman at Blue Valley High School, where he participated in debate and theater, his family said in a statement Sunday night. He was an Eagle Scout who loved to camp and hunt with his grandfather, father and brother.

Corporon was a doctor in Johnson County, where he and his wife of 49 years moved in 2003 to be closer to their grandchildren. He cherished his family and had a passion for caring for others, his family said in the statement.

The gunfire at the west side of the Jewish Community Center came as hundreds of high school singers from across the metro area were expected to audition for the KC SuperStar contest and actors were rehearsing for a production of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

“There were tons of kids because this was about to start at 1 o’clock,”  Ruth Bigus, the publicist for KC SuperStar, told the Kansas City Star.

(Editor's note: Information from The Kansas City Star was used in this story.)


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