Northern Virginia synagogues are coming to grips with horrific violence in recent weeks, with a 17-year-old reported Nazi sympathizer accused of murdering his girlfriend’s parents.
“It’s shocking and very troubling,” said Rabbi Michelle Goldsmith from Congregation Beth Emeth in Herndon. “But unfortunately, this world is full of lots of hate so I wish I was more shocked.”
The parents — Scott Fricker, 48, and Buckley Kuhn-Fricker, 43 — had recently pushed their daughter to end the relationship because of the boyfriend’s views, according to The Washington Post. Police suspect the teen went to the family’s Reston home Dec. 22 and shot the parents before turning the gun on himself. He remains hospitalized with injuries.
Fairfax County police arrested the 17-year-old last week, but are not releasing his name because he is a
Kuhn-Fricker’s mother, Janet Kuhn, told the Post that Kuhn-Fricker initially became concerned over the summer, when her daughter asked if she knew that Jews were partly to blame for World War II. Kuhn-Fricker then discovered social media posts from the boyfriend espousing a white supremacist ideology.
On Dec. 20, Kuhn said, the family intervened, attempting to convince their daughter that she needed to stop seeing him. She agreed. But then, Kuhn said, the parents found him in the daughter’s bedroom in the early morning of Dec. 22. When they confronted him, he shot them and then turned the gun on himself. Dispatch audio released by police indicates that it was the daughter who called 911 from their home.
Calls to a phone number associated with Janet Kuhn were unreturned.
Goldsmith said that some Beth Emeth congregants were shaken by the news. In April, the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia was vandalized with a swastika. Goldsmith said she mentioned the killings after last Wednesday’s minyan.
“It’s definitely on people’s minds, which is why I felt like I needed to say something,” Goldsmith said. “This is considered a very, very safe community, and people don’t fear for their safety. But this is a reminder that the hate we talk about in the abstract is much closer than we like to acknowledge and that kind of hate exists right in our
Last week, reports surfaced about a previous anti-Semitic display at the alleged killer’s home in Lorton. Penny Potter, a neighbor of the teen, told the Post that residents discovered a roughly 40-foot swastika mowed into a community field in October. The trail from the mower’s tires ran up to the teen’s house. Potter declined to speak to WJW.
Residents of the Gunston Manor community in Lorton decided to confront the teen’s parents, who said they sent that they were seeking treatment for their son, who they said had behavioral issues.
Potter said she wished they’d alerted the police.
“For the first time, I was fearful that there was someone living in our neighborhood who was capable of incredibly irrational behavior,” she told the Post. “If you see something that makes you say ‘Huh,’ just call the police. They can tell you if it’s appropriate.”