Colorado Gunman Identified, Likely Did Both Attacks

Bump and Update: 24 year old Matthew Murray, the home-schooled son of a prominent neurologist, has been identified as the shooter in yesterday's Colorado Springs church shooting.
The law enforcement official said Murray was believed to be the gunman in both attacks. Murray did not appear to have a criminal history but "hated Christians," the official said.

....Murray's father, Ronald S. Murray, is a neurologist who is chief executive of the Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Center in Englewood.

Murray attended the Youth With a Misson program in Arvada about three years ago but was kicked out. He began sending them hate mail a few weeks ago.


Original Post 12/9/07

Shooting Deaths at Two Colorado Evangelical Sites

Three people and a gunman are dead in Colorado following two shooting sprees at evangelical sites, 70 miles apart.


The first was in Arvada, near Denver. The second was in Colorado Springs, about 60 miles south of Denver.Police don't yet know if they were connected.

The first shooting occurred about 12:30 a.m. Mountain time in Arvada, about 15 miles northwest of Denver at the offices of Youth With a Mission, an evangelical Christian group that trains missionaries. Two people were killed, and two were injured.

At about 1 p.m. in Colorado Springs, about 70 miles away, at least four people were shot, one fatally, in the parking lot of the New Life Church, the 14,000-member evangelical Christian megachurch that was founded by the Rev. Ted Haggard, who was fired last year after charges of sexual impropriety. Chief Richard Myers of the Colorado Springs police said a security guard had shot and killed the gunman there.

Police are treating the suspect in the first shooting as still being on the loose. He's in his '20s. He had asked to spend the night at the mission and was refused. 45 youths were on the premises when the shootng occurred.

Update 10:00 pm MT: Live Press Confernce, Chief Meyers, Colo. Springs Police Department:[more]

Suspect was confronted by security guard. She shot him and he died. There were no explosives. as they initially thought. They are working with Arvada to determine if there is a connection between the two sets of shootings. They have no information to suggest that.

End of Press conference. The local news is reporting they are searching a house right now in Arapahoe County (which is nowhere near either Arvada or Colorado Springs.) The bomb squad is there, the warrant was obtained by the Arvada police and they are taking a lot of boxes out of the house. They took out two people from the house. There are 15 to 20 investigators inside, FBI, ATF and local cops.

Since so many people at the Arvada shooting saw the suspect, they must know by now if he's the shooter killed in Colorado Springs. They could have faxed or driven up a photo of the dead shooter to show the witnesses from the Arvada shootings. Since they are saying they have no information as to a connection between the two incidents, it must not be the same guy.

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    "He had asked to spend the night ... (none / 0) (#1)
    by scribe on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 11:21:50 AM EST
    at the mission and was refused."

    No room at the inn, much?

    And, in a country where evangelicals (in another state, to be fair) have enoughgelt running around to put on a Christmas pageant costing $1.3 mil? [warning, video link with automatic Crackberry commercial]

    From the article:

    And while the first act deals more with the fun and spectacle of modern-day Christmas, Thompson said the second act focuses on the history of Jesus and his life.

    The minister in charge has the gall to say:

    ''I think Jesus would come to the show [and say], 'Authentically you got it right,'" Thompson said.

    Yeah.  Right.  Santa Claus (watch the video!) (overdressed for the weather) was cruising in behind his flying reindeer (a species not native to the Bethlehem area) swooping down tossing candy and fruit just around the corner from the stable where Jesus' teenaged mother was giving birth, having insufficient funds to even rent a room for sufficient privacy or shelter.

    The point is (and I'll surely get much flak for it, but I don't care because I'm right and you all know it), much of what passes for "Christianity" today is, in reality, a moneymaking cult built around some cipher called "Jesus", a name chanted and intoned .  The "pastors", leading this cult, are judged to be spiritually successful (I guess is the right word) based upon how much money they rake in, and how many folks they get to chant along.

    In the meantime, worthwhile (and, more to the point, more consonant with Christ's message) activities like this draw next-to-no support from the cult leaders.

    aka (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jen M on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 08:39:02 PM EST
    The Gospel of Prosperity.

    What my father (A Methodist Preacher) calls a heresy. I don't think its very new, or American. Read Job.  I alway thought his friends sounded a lot like some of these people.


    Senseless shootings..... (none / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 11:47:28 AM EST
    I hate to say it, but we must be getting used to them.  Columbine was a big shock to me when it happened, now I barely bat an eye when I turn on the tube and hear about the latest senseless mass murder.  Very sad that it is no longer shocking, eh?

    I did find it odd that the church had an armed security guard....not that I'm at church often, but I think I'd freak if I did go and there was an armed guard at the door.  Not exactly the welcome I'd expect at god's house.

    American children (none / 0) (#3)
    by jondee on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 11:56:34 AM EST
    are four times as likely to be on some form of psychiatric medication as the children in any other developed nation. And it dosnt seem to be working out too well.

    Guns dont kill people, Americans with guns kill people.

    We must hate our freedoms.

    Concealed carry (none / 0) (#4)
    by Walter in Denver on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 01:55:09 PM EST
     kdog, the woman who shot the gunman was (according to this morning's press conference) a plainclothes volunteer with a permit. I assume that means a standard concealed carry permit, so you wouldn't see an armed guard at the church.

    Thanks Walt.... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:17:51 PM EST
    That makes a little more sense...though I still find it odd.  Guns in church...who knew?

    Obviously, I don't run in church-going or gun-carrying circles...I'm hopelessly out of those loops.


    more guns less crime? (none / 0) (#6)
    by diogenes on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:45:00 PM EST
    It was a good thing that this plainclothes volunteer was armed, indeed.
    I don't see the local unitarian churches or John Edwards "help the poor" types exactly opening their doors to random people who walk in wanting to spend the night, either.

    If you really (none / 0) (#7)
    by scribe on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:52:33 PM EST
    ...don't see the local unitarian churches or John Edwards "help the poor" types exactly opening their doors to random people who walk in wanting to spend the night, either

    ...then maybe you haven't been looking.  The place refusing this character admission, after all, was a mission for people in need of help, it would seem.


    The type of people (none / 0) (#8)
    by jondee on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:34:44 PM EST
    whose mental scope cant encompass any soloutions beyond "more guns" dont need more guns.

    But they surely need more idolatry (none / 0) (#9)
    by scribe on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 04:45:59 PM EST
    And, to do that, you surely need idols!

    Rest assured.  WalMart and Target are there to meet the need, with gen-yoo-wine plastic talking Jesus idols, made by wage slaves in China or somewhere, and affordably priced here.  Or, they were, until the things started selling out.


    Why does Jesus (none / 0) (#16)
    by jondee on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 03:31:35 PM EST
    always look like one of the Beach Boys during their acid period?

    OTOH (none / 0) (#10)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 04:49:49 PM EST
    On the other hand, we have yet another case where someone with a gun puts a stop to a mass murderer.  It takes a certain blindness to continuosly ignore what works.

    OTOOH.... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 01:15:38 PM EST
    You don't need a gun to stop the lone gunman when you've got the numbers...it just takes a little more cajones, thats all.

    Just saying...


    Fantasy versus Reality (none / 0) (#19)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 11:17:43 PM EST
    Care to offer some examples of where this fantasy has actually become reality?  

    Just how would you plan to organize on the spot a batch of strangers under extreme stress into the "numbers" you mention?

    Again we are left with the fact that someone with a gun stopped a mass killer.  All you offer is conjecture.


    The autopsy.... (5.00 / 0) (#21)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 02:32:23 PM EST
    seems to indicate the killer committed suicide.  So he actually stopped himself.

    So much for god guiding the hand of that woman and the path of those divine bullets, eh?


    Its all in the timing (1.00 / 0) (#22)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 04:07:17 PM EST

    He committed suicide when confronted with armed resistance.  The sooner the confrontation, the better.

    Which confrontation (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by jondee on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 04:30:28 PM EST
    the one in which he shot the six people, or the one afterwards?

    But, you're probobly right, if the ahooters Father, Mother, little sister, psychiatrist etc had all been carrying concealed weapons, this tragedy would probobly have been averted.

    Praise the Lord.


    After he shot six people (none / 0) (#15)
    by jondee on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 03:27:23 PM EST
    Gol dang it, yer right: what this country needs is more guns.

    Yup (none / 0) (#18)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 05:59:05 PM EST
    Actually with less guns and he may have shot people until his ammo ran out.  

    More guns isnt going (5.00 / 0) (#20)
    by jondee on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 02:27:11 PM EST
    to solve the problem of the plethora of violent lunatics. Do you think this kid was worried about getting shot by Marshall Wile and his posse?

    Church gunman... (none / 0) (#13)
    by desertswine on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 02:51:44 PM EST
    actually a suicide.

    Minneapolis police Sgt. Jesse Garcia said Assam (the church security guard) was fired from the Minneapolis force in 1997 for lying during an internal investigation.

    Hmmm. (none / 0) (#14)
    by scribe on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 03:24:09 PM EST
    "Me, the gunman and God," says the volunteer security guard.

    Actually, I'm inclined to believe that the Christianists want him to have been a suicide, since any other result would lead to their bearing some massive liability exposure for his death.  Per this article:

    The Colorado man who went on an anti-Christian rampage over the weekend was raised by a deeply religious family - and was shot to death by a former cop so full of faith she said Jesus helped pull her trigger.

    "It was me, the gunman and God," said Jeanne Assam, who killed the gunman at a Colorado Springs megachurch Sunday, ending a rampage that killed four would-be missionaries in two locations.

    "I identified myself, engaged him and took him down," she said. "I just prayed for the Holy Spirit to guide me. My hands weren't even shaking."

    Assam said she was weak from a three-day fast when she confronted the gunman as he opened fire inside the New Life Church, recently famous for the resignation of secretly gay pastor Ted Haggard.

    "I was given the assignment to end this. I knew what I had to do," she said. "I'm honored that God chose me. I asked Him to be with me, and He never left my side."

    Assam took up a volunteer position at the church after news of a shooting overnight at a missionary school 65 miles away in Arvada, Colo.

    From a plaintiff's PI attorney's perspective, we have a woman, with a history of lying in investigations, claiming God assigned her to end this - Muenchhausen by proxy, IIRC (or just Bushie-itis):

    "I was given the assignment to end this. I knew what I had to do," she said. "I'm honored that God chose me. I asked Him to be with me, and He never left my side."

    To this end, she just showed up as a volunteer, packing heat.  And delirious from self-imposed conduct:

    Assam said she was weak from a three-day fast when she confronted the gunman as he opened fire inside the New Life Church...

    And, no, Jesus would never have helped her pull the trigger:

    Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth (Matthew 5:38, KJV)
    But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.  (Matthew 5:39, KJV)
    And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
    (Matthew 5:40, KJV)

    And, no, the nature of his conduct does not make any difference:

    Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? (Matthew 18:21, KJV)
    Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:22, KJV)

    And, of course, one could easily argue her proclaiming her righteousness and how God designated her to kill this misguided young man is itself a hypocrisy, blasphemy or both (take yer pick):

    Take heed that ye do not your righteousness before men, to be seen of them: else ye have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.  (Matthew 6:1, KJV)

    Yeah, there's a whole lot of Godliness running around Pastor Ted's Cathedral of Sanctimony.


    Once you build God (5.00 / 0) (#17)
    by jondee on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 03:46:49 PM EST
    a Filmore East, everyones expected to perform.

    My question is, why God "chose" the shooter and the victims for their role in this Passion Play.