Patterico's Pontifications


Colorado Church Shootings (Updated x3)

Filed under: Crime,Second Amendment — DRJ @ 5:59 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

UPDATE 3 – 12/10/2007: Another excellent JayHub link. I’m putting it in a new post.

UPDATE 2 – 12/10/2007: Note JayHub’s comment regarding the security plans implemented by the Colorado Springs’ church, plans that probably averted even more deaths. (Thanks, JayHub.)

UPDATE 1 – 12/9/2007: Michelle Malkin is covering this story.

I heard about the Arvada mission and Colorado Springs church shootings but I did not realize the Colorado Springs’ shooter was killed by a security guard until I read this comment by SPQR:

“By the way, in Colorado Springs today, at the New Life church, a gunman opened fire on the church grounds. The church’s security guard shot and killed him, but not before he was able to shoot approx 5 people with one fatality among the victims. It sounds like the security guard saved a lot of lives with his timely action, as the gunman was not able to advance beyond the parking lot. When police arrived minutes later, it was all over. My deep respect to the security guard for his fine work.

There was a shooting the night before at a ministry in the Denver metro area ( Arvada ) as well, no confirmation of a link between the two although that is the speculation as that gunman was not apprehended.”

Here’s the AP version:

“A gunman killed two staff members at a missionary training center early Sunday after being told he couldn’t spend the night, and about 12 hours later four people were shot at a busy megachurch in Colorado Springs.

Colorado Springs police Lt. Fletcher Howard said a suspect had been detained in the shootings at the New Life Church, but a church member who was locked down at the church Sunday afternoon said a security guard had shot and killed the gunman. Authorities in Arvada, a Denver suburb about 65 miles north, said no one had been captured in the shootings there.

It was not immediately known whether the shootings were related, but Arvada authorities said they were sharing information with Colorado Springs investigators. The governor ordered state authorities to help. The program that runs mission training in Arvada has a small office at the New Life Church’s World Prayer Center.

A gunman in a black trench coat and a high-powered rifle entered the church’s main foyer about 1 p.m. and began shooting, according to the church member, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the police department had asked that it release all information. The church’s 11 a.m. service had recently ended, and hundreds of people were milling about when the gunman opened fire. Nearby were parents picking up their children from the nursery.

The gunman was killed by a member of the church’s armed security staff, the source said. Four people were shot, and the source did not know whether the shooter was one of the four. A SWAT team was searching the building for an explosive device, but the source could not confirm any details.
New Life Senior Pastor Brady Boyd said security at the church had been beefed up after the shootings in Arvada, but he did not elaborate and did not take questions.

“Fortunately for New Life Church, we had a plan in place that was put into play immediately,” he said. “Our prayers right now are for the people that were injured and their families.”

Incidently, the Reuters’ version doesn’t mention a security guard, although it did mention the former New Life’s Pastor’s sexual improprieties.

SPQR’s comment related to the Omaha mall shooting discussion. To me, it can be used as evidence that supports people having the freedom to carry guns OR as evidence that facilities should be better prepared to handle situations like this. Or both.

Either way, it’s an interesting point and my thanks to SPQR for raising it. By the way, SPQR, I’ve always wondered: Are you any relation to XRLQ?


38 Responses to “Colorado Church Shootings (Updated x3)”

  1. The church were the shootings occurred today is the one Haggard got bounced from.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  2. With respect to the great XRLQ, no relation.

    As for arguing the relation to the mall shootings, I would point out that in contrast to the ludicrous claims from some that civilian CCW holders would be untrustworthy in reacting to shooting incidents ( with comments about the amount of training police recieve ), in most states the amount of training that armed security guards are required to receive is often little more than a handful of hours more than that that CCW permit applicants are required. Certainly little to no tactical training.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  3. Malkin has it as an armed female staff person,

    Off duty cop/ volunteer? Or?

    SteveG (4e16fc)

  4. Seems likely the same guy did both shootings. Police suggest the incidents “may be related.”

    steve (9f6837)

  5. The cynic in me rings a bell about the amount of religious bigotry that has been unleashed recently. To some, there is no way to deal with this subject in a decent, rational manner (BTW, did anyone happen to catch Laurence O’Donnell on the McLaughlin Group this weekend? – Embarassing).

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  6. Off duty cop/ volunteer? Or?

    Any group of 7,000 should have armed security.

    Who care what gender or their day job?

    steve (9f6837)

  7. My idea on malls is they don’t need full time armed guards, but they should be trained and have a couple of secure weapons cabinets placed around to draw from in an emergency.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  8. Drew

    Hot Air has the video up.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  9. As a long time gun owner and 30 plus year Army Soldier the right to bear arms is critical in defeating the idiots who steal or get a gun some other way that are intent on making a mark. In Killeen, Texas at the LUBY’s shooting folks were skampering to their cars to get their guns since at that time Texas was not a concieled carry state. They are now thank God and every American state must follow suit and allow armed citizens to defend themselves and those they love or care for. The police are way too far away from everywhere but the station or their cruiser to be an effective sheild. The armed citizen is essencial to America’s freedom and safety.

    God bless Texas and God bless America

    David in Korea (1d7c03)

  10. Gun Free Zone = Target Rich Environment is a common thread of thought in almost each major shooter case in the last 20 years.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  11. maybe ted haggard offended somebody in the methamphetamine/catamite community.

    assistant devil's advocate (2404d3)

  12. Praise God but keep your powder dry.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  13. Guns in a locked cabinet are useless, daytrader. You do not seem to realise how fast an incident like this happens.
    My whole career I carried a handgun in a holster, it’s sole purpose was to solve an unexpected problem. Because if I expected trouble I grabbed the shotgun or, sometimes, the little lever action carbine I carried in the trunk of the county cruiser.
    A handgun is the worst possible weapon, the only reason we have them is because they are there. The long gun, well it has to be fetched from someplace. The only reason I ever carried a handgun is because I could never get the 1st Armored Division to fit in a holster.

    Peter (d671ab)

  14. Daytrader : Your timeline is too short. I remember reading about an incident in New Jersey in the 1930’s where a deranged man with a handgun walked down a city street killing or wounding everyone he encountered. Other stories were in the papers from the 1940’s on.

    longwalker (c36902)

  15. I read an article on fox today that was like outta here.


    Oh well what can one really expect fro AP?

    The writer attempted to write two separate stories into one! MAJOR f- up….. He managed to provide almost nothing of real information on either story, sans a security guard shot an assailant, and three other people were dead.

    I actually hope that the one who gunned down the kids is the same one killed later on by a security guard.

    Seems that it’s been updated now considering a relation in the crime.

    Most recent article

    I’m not really sure when churches needed a security department, but who knows. When running the GOD BIZ out of a MEGA Church, I suppose anything is possible.

    Oh well one more down that the court system will not have to deal with!

    Condolences to the families of those slain as well. They of course do not deserve such served upon them.

    TC (1cf350)

  16. Such compassion and intelligence from the liberals!!

    BTW, since when does someone, church, university or other, have the right “lock down” anyone?

    Someone tries to lock me in a room while there is a shooting going may get killed himself, by me.

    Methinks that as long as liberals are letting criminals off easy, letting muslims pour into the country etc, they have no right whatsoever to tell us when and where we can bear arms and defend ourselves. The idiots who cause the problems should not have the right to interfere with those who have to deal with it.

    Particularly when they are the first up to trash talk Christianity and Christians, and get people (muslims in particular, but also left wing loonies) all wound up against us.

    Mr. Obvious (7a2278)

  17. SPQR — yup, on the training. In Minnesota, the training requirements for permit holders and armed security guards are identical, because, well, both armed security guards and other non-cops carry on the same permits. (A typical armed security guard hereabouts gets, at most, minimal additional training; at one security guard company, their additional training is being told to never, ever take their handgun out, no matter what, or they’ll be fired. It’s just for show.)

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  18. I thought the gender of the security guard was interesting.
    The churches I was raised in were conservative evangelical. Women at those churches in those days ran the bake sale.

    I also wondered if maybe the security staff was from in house. Churches use volunteers for nearly everything and a church of 10,000 has to include more than a few law enforcement officers.
    I have a friend who regularly attends a megachurch out there who is on a SWAT team. He carries a gun and a bag with extra ammo everywhere including church.

    I was curious and I’ll “care” like that whenever I feel like it simply because I want to.


    SteveG (4e16fc)

  19. “Methinks that as long as liberals are letting criminals off easy”

    “Liberals” like Mike Huckabee?

    David Ehrenstein (5f9866)

  20. Exactly.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  21. David got something right? The earth just quit spinning!

    JD (2c9284)

  22. Er correction there are no Liberals in America, they’ve all become

    “Progressives” like Mike Huckabee.

    syn (bf08ab)

  23. A handgun is the worst possible weapon,

    Well, unless your only other weapon is not having one…

    The weapon you have available is better than none at all.

    Scott Jacobs (425810)

  24. 18.

    You’re right. According to the latest in the Denver Post, the shooter was shot and killed by a volunteer security guard at the church, a woman with a law enforcement background.

    JayHub (0a6237)

  25. At least when Muslims enter the US, they’re not an invading army.

    Jesus H (3d8fd4)

  26. “I thought the gender of the security guard was interesting. The churches I was raised in were conservative evangelical. Women at those churches in those days ran the bake sale.”

    I’ve spent a lot of time in places like that, too. Unfortunately women are often limited in their public roles….however, as tragic as it is that a life was taken (although I have no problem with the decision to take the life), I’m really happy that a woman clearly evidenced an ability to think fast and pull the trigger besides make a mean apple pie.

    Dana (b4a26c)

  27. 26. Just watched the Pastor give a press interview. They have a security forces of 10-20 volunteers because of their 300,000 sq ft campus that has people there all the time. The head of that force came to him early in the morning after the Arvada shooting and recommended that they bring in more people, which they did. They also had an evacuation plan in place that they used. The woman security guard had a permit and often served as the pastor’s personal bodyguard. Because of the Arvada incicent, she had been stationed in the rotunda of the church. Good decision.

    JayHub (0a6237)

  28. The head of that security force deserves kudos too for anticipating a problem and planning to at least mitigate the damage. It’s pretty close to impossible to completely stop this sort of attacker, but one can save lives.

    However much ammo the guy had is a good estimator of how many casualties we COULD have seen without their efforts and quick thinking.

    Dan S (c77713)

  29. They have a security forces of 10-20 volunteers because of their 300,000 sq ft campus that has people there all the time.

    So, these aren’t necessarily professionals, just armed members of the community?

    Pablo (99243e)

  30. From KUSA, KOAA and CNN:

    It was the same shooter in both incidents, 23-year-old Matthew Murray, who had served on a mission with the Arvada Youth Ministry a couple years ago and had had a falling out. Murray had written several hostile and antagonistic letters before showing up and killing two staffers early Sunday.

    He drove 75 miles down to the New Life Church in Colorado Springs (Ted Haggard’s old ministry where ‘Youth With a Mission’ has a satellite), strapped around the waist with several hundred rounds of ammunition. He threw a smoke grenade into the building just as the main service was ending during the noon hour.

    Murray then ran to his car and drives around to another side of the campus, shooting into a vehicle in the parking lot, killing two girls (sisters).

    He then heads back into the building and tries to herd everyone into a narrow hallway where he is confronted by the woman security guard. She fires one round into his chest and he falls down. The ammo belts saved his life, according to local media reports. She yells, “Drop your weapon, drop it now!!” Murray reaches for what she believed was a grenade and she fires the fatal rounds.

    The 23-year-old came from a religious family who had home-schooled him. The motive for all this is – as always – uncertain. I’d be interested to learn where this clown got grenades, at the very least.

    steve (247d20)

  31. I’m voting for the Presidential Medal of Freedom for this woman.

    JayHub (0a6237)

  32. 31. Especially because of this story:

    JayHub (0a6237)

  33. Depends on what they mean by “smoke grenades” Jay, there are several pyrotechnics easily obtained by civilians for emergency signaling purposes that might meet that description.

    I agree with you with respect to the woman, she has saved a lot of lives.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  34. I agree, JayHub. What a powerful story.

    DRJ (a6fcd2)

  35. JayHub –

    I agree, also. I am always awed at what heights some individuals reach in times of crisis.

    jim2 (6482d8)

  36. There is currently a press conference by Colorado Springs police and Arvada police on local TV news that is confirming the above.

    The Colo Springs police say that the suspect Matthew Murray was carrying over 1,000 rounds of ammunition as well as a rifle and a handgun. There were “forensics” matches between evidence at both scenes, ie., Arvada and Colorado Springs. Evidently the evidence is handgun shell casings at Arvada matching the handgun recovered at Colorado Springs. Also a match of the physical description of the gunman at Arvada.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  37. Steve #30…
    She did the right thing, but she might want to work on the old Mozambique/Rhodesian triple-tap. That takes the body-armor/ammo vest out of the equation.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  38. I heard the female volunteer CCW holder at that church had a law enforcement background. I’m a retired sheriff’s detective. I carry concealed in Church because I know the violent mentally ill are attracted to Churches. Especially paranoid schizophrenics. I worked those cases in the past.
    A partner of mine was attending Mass at a Catholic Church in CA when a guy came in and shot the priest at the altar and the deacon. My friend had his duty peice and shot the gunman dead. Mentally ill background on the shooter.

    Terry Coker (88bb61)

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