Police: Young son intentionally shot white supremacist leader; motive unclear
Police are trying to make sense of the shooting death Sunday of a well-known white-supremacist leader, allegedly at the hands of his young son.
Authorities believe the boy, whose age was not released, did not shoot his father by accident.
"We believe it was an intentional act,'' said Riverside police Lt. Ed Blevins.
Officials have not speculated about a possible motive.
Jeff Russell Hall, 32, was Southwestern regional director of the National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi group based in Detroit. Police were called to his home at 4:04 a.m. Sunday and found a badly injured Hall lying on a couch.
Paramedics attempted to revive Hall, but he died at the scene, Blevins said. After interviewing Hall's wife and five children, police booked a minor son on a homicide charge, he said.
The boy was booked into Riverside County Juvenile Hall. Riverside County prosecutors are reviewing the case, Blevins said.
Hall's other children were taken into protective custody, he said. A neighbor told the Press-Enterprise that all of the couple's children are under the age of 12.
Another neighbor told the paper that the family could be intimidating, noting that at a recent Halloween party, they flew a swastika flag and guests wore KKK hoods.
Hall, a plumber, gained attention last year in his failed attempt to win a seat on an obscure water board in Riverside. His campaign was low profile, but Hall was open about his white-supremacist beliefs when questioned.
"I want a white nation," he told the Los Angeles Times last year. "I don't hide what I am, and I don't water that down."
As regional director of the National Socialist Movement, Hall helped lead demonstrations in Riverside and Los Angeles, where supporters waved swastika flags, chanted "white power" and gave stiff-armed Nazi salutes.
Hall also helped organize militia-type watches along the California and Arizona borders, with camouflage-clad volunteers on the lookout for illegal border crossers. On the National Socialist Movement website, group founder Jeff Schoep calls Hall a family man and a "dedicated American Patriot."
Blevins said a rifle and handgun were recovered from the home. It appears that Hall died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, but an autopsy is pending, Blevins said.
-- Catherine Saillant
Photo: Jeff Hall, shown in Riverside in 2009, was California director of the National Socialist Movement, the nation's biggest neo-Nazi group. Credit: Cal State San Bernardino Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism