A man arrested in Texas after shooting at a crowded synagogue has ties to the Aryan Nations and a violent group called The Order.
No one was injured in the shooting last Saturday before Dallas police arrested Donald Ray Anderson, 48, on state charges of aggravated assault and deadly conduct.
An estimated 250 to 300 adults and children in the synagogue took cover from bullets by falling to the floor, police spokesman Chris Gilliam said Thursday.
Bullets shattered windows and pierced a Star of David on an exterior wall of the synagogue.
Witnesses told police that a gunman wearing Army fatigues fired shots from the parking lot at the Baruch Ha Shem Messianic Congregation in north Dallas.
The gunman repeatedly shouted, “Die, Jews, die!” and raised a fist in a Nazi salute, witnesses said.
“I don’t know if he wanted to kill anybody or just wanted to instill fear in people,” said Sheryl Selk, 37, who watched the shooting from her parked car.
Anderson was attempting to reload his military SKS semiautomatic assault rifle when police arrived.
The gunman dropped the weapon and surrendered after a police officer drew his gun.
The suspect, who lives in McKinney, Texas, near Dallas, is being held in a Dallas jail under $200,000 bond.
The FBI is investigating Anderson for civil rights violations. He has a lengthy history of involvement with the Ku Klux Klan in Texas.
Anderson was in North Idaho for a time in the mid-1980s and attended the Aryan Nations in Hayden Lake.
He was an associate of others at the Aryan Nations who in 1983 formed a criminal organization known as The Order.
Its members committed murders, a racial assassination, counterfeiting, bombings and $4 million in armed robberies before they were caught and convicted in 1985.
Anderson was not among the three dozen people convicted of crimes associated with The Order.
Anderson, wearing a Ku Klux Klan uniform, demonstrated in April 1983 outside the Cheney City Hall, carrying a sign that said “Communism is Jewish.”
Participating with Anderson in the Cheney rally were Gary Lee Yarbrough, Denver Parmenter and Randy Duey, who later were convicted of racketeering and other crimes committed by The Order.
The demonstration was called after the Cheney city administrator had torn up a contract he unwittingly had signed with the “Church of Jesus Christ Christian.”
The city administrator said he didn’t know at the time that the church was the religious arm of the Aryan Nations.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo
MEMO: IDAHO HEADLINE: Synagogue gunman tied to The Order
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