White Supremacist Shooting Spree Leaves Bloody Trail in Massachusetts

  • January 22, 2009

Police officers in Brockton, Massachusetts, arrested a white supremacist after he allegedly killed two people and raped and attempted to kill a third.  The arrest pre-empted what authorities believe was a planned racially motivated killing spree directed at Jews and non-whites that would have continued later that evening.

On January 21, 2009, Keith Luke, 22, allegedly forcibly entered the home of his former neighbors, armed with a gun. According to police, after handcuffing the 22-year-old resident, he sexually assaulted her until the woman's younger sister arrived.  Luke then allegedly shot the younger sister numerous times in the back as she tried to flee, before returning to the first woman and shooting her as well.  The younger sister died from her injuries; the other victim remains in the hospital. 

The sisters were immigrants from Cape Verde, an island off the west coast of Africa.  Brockton has a relatively large population of immigrants from the island.

After leaving the first crime scene, Luke reportedly shot at neighbors on the street, then shot and killed a 72-year-old homeless man walking by.  Investigators reported that Luke shot the man a second time in the head after being surprised that the first shot did not kill him. The homeless victim was also originally from Cape Verde.

Brockton police officers arrested Luke after a brief vehicle chase, during which Luke allegedly fired at them.  

According to the police report, Luke told police officers that he was "fighting extinction" of the white race and had hundreds of rounds of ammunition stored to "kill 'nonwhite people' such as African Americans, Hispanics and Jewish people."   Most white supremacists in the United States today believe that whites are being driven to extinction by rising numbers of non-whites allegedly controlled and manipulated by Jews.

The police report states that Luke told the arresting officers that he had planned to go to a local synagogue to "kill as many Jews as possible during bingo night," and then "shoot himself in the head when he was through."  A nearby synagogue holds a weekly bingo night.

Although initial indications are that Luke does not appear to be linked to any particular extremist group, investigators say that Luke told arresting officers about white supremacist Internet sites and that the "people on these sites spoke the truth about the demise of the white race. "  He also allegedly alluded to the "Zionist occupation."  Many white supremacists refer to the U.S. government as the "Zionist Occupied Government" or "ZOG."

Police searching the home Luke lived in with his mother found numerous weapons in his attic room. 

Luke is charged with two counts of murder, three counts of armed assault with intent to murder (against the surviving sister and the two police officers he allegedly shot at during the pursuit), aggravated rape, kidnapping, armed home invasion, unlawful possession of a firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition.  The Brockton Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police are collaborating on the investigation.

Shooting sprees by white supremacists, typically directed at perceived "enemies" such as Jews, gays, and non-whites, have occurred before:

  • April 2000.  Pittsburgh white supremacist Richard Baumhammers embarked on a shooting spree that killed four and wounds more (one of whom would eventually die of complications from the shooting).  Victims included a Vietnamese immigrant, a Chinese immigrant, an African-American man and a Jewish woman. 
  • August 1999.  White supremacist Buford Furrow, a former security guard for Aryan Nations, opened fire at a Jewish community center in Los Angeles, wounding several children and a receptionist.  Fleeing the crime scene, Furrow shot and killed a Filipino-American postal worker.
  • July 1999.  Over the Fourth of July weekend, white supremacist Benjamin Smith, a member of the  World Church of the Creator (now known as the Creativity Movement), went on a two-state shooting spree targeting racial and religious minorities, that left two dead and nine wounded before Smith killed himself as police closed in.

Massachusetts experienced a somewhat similar incident in February 2006, when a young white supremacist from New Bedford, Massachusetts, Jacob Robida, attacked patrons of a gay bar with a hatchet, then opened fire on them with a handgun, wounding several.  Robida fled to West Virginia, where he picked up a female companion.  Continuing his flight westwards, Robida shot and killed an Arkansas police officer who pulled them over for speeding.  Finally cornered by police, Robida shot and killed the woman and himself.