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Buford O'Neal Furrow, Jr (born November 25, 1961) is an American white supremacist who committed a mass shooting at the Los Angeles Jewish Community Center on August 10, 1999. He wounded five people: three children, a teenage counselor, and an office worker. Shortly thereafter, Furrow murdered a mail carrier, fled the state, and finally surrendered to authorities.

On January 24, 2001 Furrow pleaded guilty to all of the 16 felony counts against him (which include a murder charge for the shooting of Ileto, six counts of civil rights violations and nine weapons charges.) He was sentenced to two consecutive life terms, plus 110 additional years, all without the possibility of parole.

Background

The shooter

Buford O'Neal Furrow, Jr. (born November 25, 1961) grew up in Lacey, Washington and graduated from Western Washington University in 1986 with a degree in engineering. During the 1980s, Furrow worked for Boeing and Northrop Grumman. In the 1990s, Furrow became involved with white supremacist Richard Girnt Butler's movement and was part of the security detail at Butler's Hayden Lake, Idaho compound. Months prior to the shooting, Buford O. Furrow had been treated for mental illness while in the custody of the state of Washington.

He reportedly spent some time living with Debbie Mathews (the widow of Robert Jay Mathews, the deceased neo-Nazi terrorist who founded The Order) whom he had met at the Aryan Nations headquarters in Idaho.

The shooting

On August 7, Furrow bought a used red Chevrolet van in Tacoma, Washington and loaded it with five rifles, two pistols, 6,000 rounds of ammunition and a flak jacket. Furrow considered attacking three Jewish institutions: the Skirball Cultural Center, the American Jewish University and the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance, but security measures presented too much of a problem.

Furrow proceeded to drive again from Washington to the San Fernando Valley with the stated purpose of "killing Jews". Three days later, Furrow pulled off the freeway into the Granada Hills area of Los Angeles and made his way to the North Valley Jewish Community Center just before 11 a.m. There were about 250 children playing outside[6] when Furrow walked into the lobby carrying an Uzi-type submachine-gun. He opened fire, spraying bullets from right to left, leaving smoke and more than 70 casings on the ground. When he was done, a receptionist, a camp counselor and three boys were wounded.

Furrow fled the scene in his van. Twenty minutes later, he carjacked a woman's Toyota at gunpoint, left the van behind, and then dumped the Toyota at a Chatsworth motel.

The shootings ended with the death of USPS postal worker Joseph Santos Ileto (born March 19, 1960) in Chatsworth, a few miles away from the center. Ileto had just delivered mail to a home and was returning to his postal truck when Furrow asked Ileto to mail a letter for him. As Ileto agreed, Furrow pulled out a Glock 9mm handgun and shot Ileto nine times. Later, Furrow would confess that he murdered Ileto because he thought Ileto was Latino or Asian (Ileto was Filipino American), and because Ileto was a federal employee.

Police found Furrow's abandoned van, where they discovered a cache of ammunition, rifle magazines, bulletproof vests, homemade explosives, a Ranger Handbook, and freeze-dried food. Two books by Richard Kelly Hoskins, a Lynchburg, Virginia, leader of the Christian Identity movement were also found; a copy of the book War Cycles, Peace Cycles, and Vigilantes of Christendom: The Story of the Phineas Priesthood, a book which according to the Anti-Defamation League justifies antisemitic and racist acts of violence.

Furrow fled 275-miles in an $800 taxi ride from Los Angeles, California to Las Vegas, Nevada, ending the manhunt by walking into an FBI office to confess, saying "You're looking for me, I killed the kids in Los Angeles." Furrow also stated that he wanted his shooting to be "a wakeup call to America to kill Jews."

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