Neighbors of the Virginia couple murdered by their daughter’s boyfriend are now left to wonder if things would have been different if they’d reported the alleged shooter for mowing a 40-foot swastika into the grass of a local community field.
Tire marks from the field led members of the Gunston Manor community to the teen’s home, though they all agreed to speak to his parents directly rather than go to the police, the Washington Post reported.
Some of the residents regret the move given that just two months later the 17-year-old allegedly gunned down Scott Fricker, 48, and 43-year-old Buckley Kuhn-Fricker in their home before turning the gun on himself.
The teen suspect, who has not been identified because of his age, remains hospitalized in critical condition.
Police have not yet released motive in the Dec. 22 shooting, but friends and family told the Post the couple did not approve of their daughter’s relationship with the accused gunman.
Kuhn-Fricker reportedly pressured her daughter to end the relationship after discovering a neo-Nazi Twitter account that she suspected belonged to the boyfriend.
Neighbor Penny Potter in an interview with the newspaper said she hoped the story of the swastika the suspect mowed into the ground would serve as a warning to others.
“We live in a very safe neighborhood where kids can ride their bikes and not worry about anything,” she told the newspaper. “For the first time, I was fearful that there was someone living in our neighborhood who was capable of incredibly irrational behavior.
“If you see something that makes you say, ‘Huh,’ just call the police. They can tell you if it’s appropriate.”
Friends and family suspect the shooting was prompted by the parents pressuring their daughter to end her relationship with the accused gunman.
(Buckley Kuhn Fricker/Facebook)
Potter, whose husband sometimes mows the community lot, first told her about the massive swastika at the end of October. When residents approached the teen’s parents about it, they told them their son had admitted to mowing the hate symbol into the grass.
The parents said they were “aware of his behavioral issues and getting him treatment.”
But the Frickers grew increasingly worried over their 16-year-old daughter’s relationship with the boy and approached school officials about his apparent neo-Nazi beliefs. The girl eventually agreed with her parents that ending the romance would be for the best, her grandmother, Janet Kuhn, told the Washington Post. Many who knew the family suspect it’s what prompted last week’s deadly shooting.
The teen has since been charged with two counts of murder.
Ed Munz, president of the Gunston Manor Property Owners Association, told the Post in an email that he was not aware of the swastika until after the neighbors discussed the matter with the teen’s parents.
He added that he was not included in the discussion on how to handle the boy, but urged members to speak up if they believe the swastika was somehow tied to the deadly shooting.
“People who know anything of this event should step forward and speak with the police,” Munz wrote in an email to the community.
“My hope in this is that neighbors will understand that coming forward can save people lives by reporting such behavior.”