Monday, December 10, 2007

This Could Have Been Much Worse

But fortunately, this church wasn't a gun-free zone. From December 10, 2007 Reuters:
A man dressed in black, wearing combat boots and holding an assault rifle and at least one handgun, opened fire in the parking lot of the vast New Life church in Colorado Springs after Sunday services, killing one person on the spot and wounding others. A second person died later, police said.

A female security guard, who was part of a beefed up security detail in response to the earlier shooting at the missionary center, shot and killed the gunman.

Colorado Springs police said sisters Stephanie Works, 18, and Rachael works, 16, were killed. Their father, David Works, 51, was hospitalized in fair condition.

The security guard, a volunteer, saved many lives, New Life senior pastor Brady Boyd told a televised news conference on Monday. "She's a real hero," he said.

Police did not identify the gunman, who Brady said was not a member of the church. There were about 7,000 people in the building when the shooting erupted.

In an incident about 12 hours earlier and 70 miles away, a man entered a Christian missionary training center in the Denver suburb of Arvada and killed two young missionaries with a handgun shortly after midnight, police said.

The Arvada gunman, also dressed in dark clothing, fled on foot in the snow.
UPDATE: Not even a security guard! Apparently, just a member of the church with a carry permit, according to this.

UPDATE 2: News reports have identified the murderer as Matthew J. Murray, who had been home schooled, from a deeply religious family, and had been kicked out of Youth With A Mission three years ago--and was sending them threatening emails. He was also described here as the son of a prominent neurologist, specializing in multiple sclerosis research--and as someone who "hated Christians." The various accounts describe a 24 year old who was still living at home, and dropping out of various schools.

There are no indications of mental illness (other than showing up at a church with smoke grenades, an assault rifle, and a handgun, to commit mass murder), but it does seem a bit odd that someone coming from a highly educated home would be fumbling through life at age 24 like this.

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