Colorado Gunman Scared Co-Workers 5 years ago
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Megachurch, Mission Shootings Linked

Posted: 2007-12-10 19:31:34
Filed Under: Nation News
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 10) - The gunman believed to have killed four people at a megachurch and a missionary training school had been thrown out of the school about three years ago and had been sending the place hate mail, police said in court papers Monday.

The gunman was identified as Matthew Murray, 24, who was home-schooled by his family and raised in what a friend said was a deeply religious Christian household. Murray's father is a neurologist and a leading multiple-sclerosis researcher.

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Kevin Moloney, AP
Five people — including Murray — were killed, and five others wounded Sunday in the two eruptions of violence 12 hours and 65 miles apart.

The first attack took place at Youth With a Mission, a training center for missionaries in the Denver suburb of Arvada; the other occurred at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, where Murray was shot to death by a security guard. The missionary training center maintains an office at the 10,000-member church.

"Through both investigations it has been determined that most likely the suspect in both shootings are one and the same," police said in court papers, confirming what investigators suspected early on.

Colorado Springs police said the "common denominator in both locations" was Youth With a Mission. "It appears that the suspect had been kicked out of the program three years prior and during the past few weeks had sent different forms of hate mail to the program and/or its director," Detective Bradley Pratt wrote.

Earlier in the day, a law enforcement source who spoke on condition of anonymity said it appeared that Murray "hated Christians."

Investigators have not said whether Murray singled out his victims. But the two people killed at the church — sisters Stephanie and Rachael Works, ages 18 and 16 — frequented the training center, their uncle Mark Schaepe, of Lincoln, Neb., told The Gazette of Colorado Springs. . . . .


Monday, December 10, 2007

Colorado Gunman Scared Co-Workers 5 years ago

By Jeremy Reynalds
Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO (ANS) -- Matthew Murray was kicked out of a missionary training program five years ago for strange behavior, and talked about hearing voices, according to a man who served at the center with him.

Murray was the gunman who killed two people at the Youth With A Mission center on Sunday and two others at a Colorado Springs megachurch later that day, police said. He was shot by a church security guard and died of his wounds.

Richard Werner, 34, told CNN on Monday he was a worker at the center in Arvada, Colorado, in 2002, the same time as Murray.

CNN reported he said Murray was told in Dec. 2002 he would not be allowed to join a mission trip to Bosnia. That was five days after Murray performed a pair of dark rock songs at a concert at the mission that made fellow workers, according to Werner, "pretty scared."

The performance -- which included a song by rock band Linkin Park and another that had been recorded by controversial rocker Marilyn Manson -- followed months of strange behavior, CNN reported Werner said.

Werner, of Balneario Camborius, Brazil, said he had a bunk near Murray's and that Murray would roll around in bed and make noises.

"He would say, 'Don't worry, I'm just talking to the voices,'" CNN reported Werner said. "He'd say, 'Don't worry, Richard. You're a nice guy. The voices like you.'"

Werner told CNN he immediately suspected Murray when he heard the news of Sunday's shootings.

"I turned to my wife and I said, 'I know who did it. It's Matthew,' " CNN reported he said. "It was so obvious. For four months, he was sleeping right next to me. Those are the things you don't imagine, but when it happened it was so obvious."

Werner told CNN his "heart is crushed" by news of the shootings.

Peter Warren, director of Youth With A Mission, said Monday in a statement that Murray did not go on the mission he was training for in 2002, because managers thought that "issues relating to his health made it unsafe for him to do so."

Phil Abeyta, who identified himself as Murray's uncle, read a statement from the family Monday asking for forgiveness.

"Our family cannot express the magnitude of our grief for the victims and families of this tragedy," CNN reported he said. " ... We cannot understand why this has happened."

Abeyta spoke at a news conference with spokesmen from the Youth With A Mission center.

Police said Murray, 24, of Englewood, Colorado, shot and killed two people at the Youth With A Mission center and wounded two others early Sunday.

At New Life Church, about 80 miles away, Murray sprayed fire from an assault rifle and threw smoke bombs in at least two locations where large numbers of churchgoers were likely to be, police said. Two teenage sisters were shot in the church's parking lot and died of their wounds; three other people, including the girls' father, were wounded.


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