Patterico's Pontifications


Colorado Gunman Published Columbine-Style Threats; Committed Suicide

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 1:34 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Matthew Murray, the gunman in the shootings at the Colorado Springs’ New Life Church and the Arvada mission training center, was shot numerous times but died of a self-inflicted wound:

“The man who killed four people at a church and missionary training center died of a self-inflicted shotgun wound, police said Tuesday.

Matthew Murray, 24, was struck multiple times by a security officer at New Life Church Sunday but died after firing a single shot at himself, the El Paso County Coroner’s Office concluded after an autopsy.”

Murray reportedly left threatening web posts that targeted Christians:

“KUSA – 9Wants to Know has discovered more than a dozen writings posted by Matthew Murray where he warns of an impending rampage and copied the statements of one of the Columbine High School gunmen.

On Monday, police confirmed that 24-year-old Murray was the gunman in the deadly shootings at both the Youth With a Mission center on the Faith Bible Chapel campus in Arvada and at New Life Church in Colorado Springs. Three people, including Murray, were killed in Colorado Springs, and two others died in Arvada. Five other people were wounded.

“You Christians brought this on yourselves,” Murray wrote on a Web site for people who have left Pentecostal and fundamentalist religious organizations. It was the most recent posting of his on the site, dated Sunday, December 9 at 11:03 a.m.

Murray lived with his parents in a home in unincorporated Arapahoe County where police conducted a search on Sunday night.

In the Web writings, which are now being investigated by Colorado Springs Police, Arvada Police and the FBI, Murray warned, “I’m coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the @#%$ teeth and I WILL shoot to kill. …God, I can’t wait till I can kill you people. Feel no remorse, no sense of shame, I don’t care if I live or die in the shoot-out. All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you … as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world.”

If the time on the posting is accurate, it was posted after the 12:30 a.m. shooting Sunday morning in Arvada and before the 1:10 p.m. Sunday afternoon shooting in Colorado Springs.”

The report indicates Murray’s 11:03 AM post (“You Christians brought this on yourselves”) resembles writings by Columbine gunman Eric Harris. His last posts apparently followed months of escalating threats of violence by Murray, so much that other users and a pyschologist offered help:

“Throughout his writings, which spanned several months, Murray’s violence continued to accelerate. Some of the users tried to counsel Murray and one psychologist even offered her services after reading his poem called “Crying all alone in pain in the nightmare of Christianity”.

Murray rebuffed her offer. “I’ve already been working with counselors. I have a point to make with all this talk about psychologists and counselors ‘helping people with their pain,'” he wrote.”

This also sounds similar to the Virginia Tech shooting in which the gunman used the interval between shootings to write letters and prepare for his final assault.

Earlier posts here and here.


88 Responses to “Colorado Gunman Published Columbine-Style Threats; Committed Suicide”

  1. Makes no difference to the heroism of Jeanne Assam’s actions. She stopped him.

    Any psychologists out there? How can we identify these deadly few before they go off the deep end?

    JayHub (0a6237)

  2. I agree, JayHub. The gunman wouldn’t have killed himself if Assam hadn’t already disabled him.

    As for the psychology aspect, I hope Dr. Helen will post further on this topic. She has studied young murderers for many years and may know more than anyone on the subject.

    DRJ (09f144)

  3. Outcasts will continue to strike back at tormentors, real or imagined. Such impulses apparently aroused by identifying with other shooters. Should society lock assault weapons away from 20-something’s with a martyr complex? Seems impossible.

    steve (84260b)

  4. Part of the solution to reducing these incidents is to reduce the publicity the killers get. Which the MSM usually discusses but never does. Maybe if they were sued after each incident for having provided the incentive for the killer to try and “go out in a blaze of glory” they’d learn how to report on these without giving the killers the notoriety they crave.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  5. It could be that the shotgun blast was an accidental Coup de grâce. A bit odd that there was no previous mention of the shotgun, or did I miss it?

    htom (412a17)

  6. So if a bartender can be sued by a drunk-driver victim, why not a TV news director? Some ratings-challenged station will run the killer’s manifesto and take the consequences.

    Murray had two assault rifles and three handguns with banana clips for extra ammunition in his backpack.

    9NEWS has also learned Murray bought four of the five weapons himself. The fifth weapon is still being traced for ownership.

    steve (84260b)

  7. It seems to me the more publication about events, the better. For instance, the media reports about the Arvada shooting were given as the reason the New Life Church increased its security.

    In addition, I don’t like giving gunmen so much publicity but learning from these events, and the people that commit them, may help us identify potential shooters and stop future incidents.

    DRJ (09f144)

  8. I’m a Colo. Springs resident and a New Life member. The shotgun reference is inaccurate. He died by single shot from his own pistol. No shotgun involved. Coroner’s report noted Assam shot Murray several times in in the legs and wrist, and may have hit the pistol with which he took his own life.
    We’re all shaken, but grateful for Assam’s actions. Please keep us in your prayers. This is a difficult week.

    Bruce (ecf4a1)

  9. He was stopped. Early reports indicated that Ms. Assam had put three shots in the center mass of Murray–which she was trained to do as a policeman. I’m glad he was stopped. If Ms. Assam, as the “helping and therapeutic community” asserts, will suffer post traumatic stress from all of this, it may be a benefit for her to believe that Murray took his own life before she put a few more bullets in him and got the job done. I don’t much care; she did what she had to do, and more to the point, was prepared to do.

    Mike Myers (31af82)

  10. Matthew Murray, 24, was struck multiple times by a security officer at New Life Church Sunday but died after firing a single shot at himself, the El Paso County Coroner’s Office concluded after an autopsy.”

    This could have been problematic for the media. A CIVILIAN, no less a WOMAN armed with a HANDGUN is able to stop a massacre. Oh wait, see she didn’t stop him – he killed himself. He probably would have shot himself sooner if she hadn’t interfered.

    TakeFive (2bf7bd)

  11. He probably would have shot himself sooner if she hadn’t interfered.

    And maybe New Life would have been spared any carnage had Arvada police published a description and Murray’s car was spotted on I-25 by a trucker.

    The variables are infinite.

    steve (84260b)

  12. I’m curious about the description of two of his weapons as “assault rifles”. Are they serious? It’s pretty difficult to legally buy assault rifles.

    Sam (225402)

  13. Perhaps he shot himself with a Beretta, and some editor thinks that all of those are shotguns?

    htom (412a17)

  14. He could have had a Red Ryder BB gun and the hairspray and face makeup morons who masquerade as reporters would call it an assault rifle, Sam.

    nk (26f031)

  15. Sam, the misuse of the term is part and parcel of the MSM bias against firearm ownership.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  16. The media uses the term “assault rifle” to describe pretty much any long gun besides a shotgun.

    cdeegan (4fd387)

  17. #10. “He probably would have shot himself sooner if she hadn’t interfered

    I wonder how anyone can arrive at this supposition. According to Larry Bourbonnais’ 1st-hand account, the gunman was still shooting at people, including at Bourbonnais, just before Jeanne Assam came out from cover. Even after that the gunman continued shooting, presumably at her.

    I think it’s good for Assam that she did the job without actually killing Murray herself–this is truly the grace of God. In a conflict like this, one would always ask oneself afterwards: could one have just stopped the gunman by maiming him rather than take his life? This is certainly the question Murray’s parents would be asking. Any parent in this kind of situation would have wished that their child has had more time to come to ‘peace’, whether it be serving life in jail or while waiting on death row. Esp. for religious parents like Matthew’s, there would be unbearable anguish over the uncertainty over the condition of his ‘soul’ at the time of his demise.

    The ‘hero’ status of Assam is undiminished in anyway. If anything, it may well be boosted. She ended this rampage by incapacitating the gunman, without actually having to take the gunman’s life. If I were Assam, this outcome makes it easier for me to face Murray’s parents, if the occasion were ever to occur.

    ruack (98785b)

  18. ruack, it was a joke.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  19. He could have had a Red Ryder BB gun and the hairspray and face makeup morons who masquerade as reporters would call it an assault rifle, Sam.

    Blame Sgt. Jeff Johnson of the Colorado Springs Police Department, the named source.

    steve (764d18)

  20. Giving widespread dissemination of NEWS of a shooting is one thing.

    Making a prophet out of these a..holes is another.

    If the media would embargo all mention of name, etc, of these thugs, perhaps these situations would diminish.

    They make up these outlandish manifestoes only because they KNOW the media whores will publish their words and their names.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  21. As others have pointed out the stories on the shooting have been all over the block on this one.

    So far as best as I can tell the prior shooting was done with a handgun at the other site.

    Then at this church two sisters were shot in the parking lot (unknown which weapon used so far)

    The two male security volunteers had guns drawn on him and did not shoot even after the killings in the parking lot

    The lady then comes to the scene and empties her magazine on him to take him down and then he does himself in with a pistol identified as a shotgun.

    Also I have read he had a “tactical helmet” and body armor?

    I may be all wrong on these points because I only have open source to work with and one local person in this thread saying it was a pistol not a shotgun did him in.

    I have been pulling my hair out most of the day with the mixed set of reports on this issue because I too was wondering just where the heck did the shotgun come from after I first heard that story.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  22. The Denver Post doesn’t say anything about a self-inflicted shotgun wound. The AP may have been mistaken as to the type of weapon used.

    DRJ (09f144)

  23. Well, it is the Associated Press … it isn’t like you want to rely upon them …

    SPQR (26be8b)

  24. Slight correction the two male armed volunteers had guns (only one confirmed drawn) and he didn’t shoot even after being shot himself.

    Major fact issues here which make figuring it all out interesting to say the least.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  25. In other news

    In Vegas this morning two shot in what appeared to be a road rage related issue. One shot in leg who was in the car that caused the road rage and a girl shot in the stomach crossing the school yard.

    Later in the day 6 students shot getting off a school bus which appears to be gang related.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  26. …and a school bus shooting today in Vegas.

    That teacher in Wisconsin who was trying to incite people to start doing columbine style massacres gets let off the hook by the prosecutor and it’s been one bloodbath after another ever since. I think the Omaha Mall Massacre happened the day after and each new day brings new massacres.

    Are people still claiming that the Wisconsin teacher was just “excercising his free speech rights”? Tell it to the families of the victims.

    j curtis (8bcca6)

  27. j curtis, that’s a completely silly comment. You’ve no evidence at all that either of these gunman ever heard of an obscure blog discussing teachers union issues.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  28. Evidence? We don’t need no stinking evidence.
    This is the internet!

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  29. Now Another Drew wants to drag mexican bandits into the issue!

    Bob Loblaw (6d485c)

  30. j curtis, that’s a completely silly comment. You’ve no evidence at all that either of these gunman ever heard of an obscure blog discussing teachers union issues.

    Comment by SPQR

    The Colorado crackpot made comments on the internet. If he had been taken in because of his comments prior to his massacre attempt, would it have been a violation of his free speech rights?

    j curtis (8bcca6)

  31. Good thing all tragedies are blamed on the media. As though society doesn’t have a bounty of freaks or any deep-seated problem to analyze.

    Assam was interviewed by the press and never mentioned the fact that the shooter put a gun to his own head. No one find that odd?

    Do parents who home-school isolate their children and prohibit normal social interaction – such that they don’t learn how to play well with others or abide by social norms? Or are they less apt to be poisoned by whatever poisoned Klebold & Harris?

    Did Arvada detectives put out ANY description of the shooter and vehicle in the 12 hours before the Colorado Springs massacre? Might have made a difference as New Life braced for trouble.

    steve (a185f0)

  32. Steve,

    Maybe he didn’t shoot himself in the head. Maybe it was in the torso.

    DRJ (09f144)


    Murray shot himself in the head, said police Sgt. Skip Arms.

    steve (a185f0)

  34. That was quick! Thanks, Steve.

    Maybe Murray turned and Assam’s visibility was obscured, or maybe it happened too fast to be sure what he did, or maybe she didn’t want to add to the misery it would cause Murray’s family to hear a detail like that.

    DRJ (09f144)

  35. Steve #19,Blame Sgt. Jeff Johnson of the Colorado Springs Police Department, the named source.

    A. He’s a good press officer who knows what raw meat the ravening weasels want;
    B. He has the same anti-gun bias the media does like a lot of policemen who think they should be the only ones to carry guns;
    C. He doesn’t know what an assault rifle is.

    An assault rifle is a selective-fire weapon (machine gun?) firing a cartridge intermediate in power between a pistol and rifle. Not likely here or Ms. Assam would have been sawn in half in two seconds or so.

    nk (26f031)

  36. La Times

    Murray killed two teenage sisters at New Life Church on Sunday afternoon and wounded their father and two other worshippers. The gunman had been at large since 12:30 a.m., when he attacked the Youth With a Mission academy in Arvada.

    Murray apparently left smoke grenades as distractions at the western and southeastern entrances to New Life. Then he moved to the eastern parking lot and opened fire, hitting the Works family of Denver.

    Stephanie Works, 18, died at the scene; her sister Rachel, 16, died in a hospital hours later. Their father, David, 51, was wounded in the groin and abdomen and was in fair condition Monday.

    Jensen said it was unknown if Murray targeted the Works girls, who reportedly had gone on a Youth With a Mission trip overseas and frequented the group’s Arvada branch.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  37. Maybe Murray turned and Assam’s visibility was obscured, or maybe it happened too fast to be sure what he did, or maybe she didn’t want to add to the misery it would cause Murray’s family to hear a detail like that.

    Maybe she preferred the public believe she killed the shooter in addition to ending his rampage.

    Maybe she was well-trained in dispassionate, complete officer-involved use-of-force reports.

    She stopped a killer and I’m happy for her and the innocents she saved.

    steve (a185f0)

  38. Yeah, i think in a real-life shoot-out everything’s not as clear as in the movies–with slow-motion close-ups & whatnot.. 😉

    In that 1-2 sec in which he raised his gun to his head and fired the fatal shot, lots of other things would have been happening at the same time–shots from Assam’s gun hitting other parts of his body, blood splatter etc. Shots from Assam’s gun could have caused him to stumble and turn such that his act of shooting himself was obscured. But still, there had been at least 4 people there watching the gunman–Bourbonnais, Assam and the 2 male security guards. Hard to fathom that none of them saw him shooting himself! Unless the rest are all taking cover? Or maybe there was too much smoke?

    Bourbonnais said that after Murray slid to the ground, he asked Assam to shoot Murray in the head to make sure he was dead. But Assam didn’t, saying she thought he was already dead. Bourbonnais also said that because he himself was unarmed, he then removed Murray’s handgun from his hand and emptied the rounds, noticing that the gun was jammed.

    A sinister speculation: could Bourbonnais have put the bullet into Murray’s head, using Murray’s own handgun? (sounds like a scene from some action flick, I know.. :-)

    ruack (98785b)

  39. Bourbonnais said that after Murray slid to the ground, he asked Assam to shoot Murray in the head to make sure he was dead.

    Where is that reported?

    He told the Rocky Mountain News:

    After she shot him dead, I took a 9 millimeter gun out of his right hand. It was jammed. There was a round stuck.

    His stories conflict with forensics, logic and probably themselves.

    steve (a185f0)

  40. #37. “Maybe she preferred the public believe she killed the shooter in addition to ending his rampage.

    No, an ex-police officer like herself (even an amateur like myself who’s a CSI fan :-) would know very well that forensics & ballistics will establish exactly who & what killed the gunman. I think she only said what she knew for a fact and nothing more. In her press interview I recall she only used the words ‘took him down’ or ‘shot him’. I don’t believe she used the word ‘killed’. So technically she was correct.

    If I were Assam, I would have preferred that he did not die from my actions, or questions can arise about my actions–like, could I have stopped him without killing him, etc, etc, etc. It’s the reason why healthcare professionals–when they’re not on duty–are sometimes unwilling to help someone in a medical emergency; it’s the legal liabilities involved in this highly litigious society. It’s unlikely Assam would have preferred to have had to kill someone in her duties.

    ruack (98785b)

  41. Since we’re speaking theoretically, why not question the coroner’s autopsy report?

    DRJ (09f144)

  42. #39 “Where is that reported?

    Bourbonnais said:
    “She (Assam) was yelling, I recall, ‘Surrender.’ I didn’t want to get in her way. I was unarmed, so I ran kind of up and parallel because I couldn’t see,” said Bourbonnais. “She fired off 10 or 12 shots and we both came around the corner and he started sliding down and he started bleeding. He looked pretty dead. I told her to take a headshot and she said, ‘No, I think he’s dead.’ I took a handgun out of his hand because I was unarmed. I cleared it. It had jammed, I remember that.”

    ruack (98785b)

  43. From Bourbonnais’ account:

    “..we both came around the corner and he started sliding down and he started bleeding”

    It sound as if the gunman backed into some corner in the midst of the firing and for a very short while they both couldn’t see him. That could have been when he shot himself.

    ruack (98785b)

  44. To whatever extent they embellished the incident, if they did embellish it, I think the message they wanted to send was “don’t come here and kill our parishioners because you will fail”, as opposed to “if you come here and shoot yourself, you won’t be able to kill as many parishioners”.

    j curtis (8bcca6)

  45. Either Bourbonnais is wrong or the autopsy is a fabrication. He stated Assam fired the last round and he disarmed Murray who held a jammed gun.

    In any case, if she was close enough to see what he was doing and to order the gunman to “surrender,” she was close enough to hear the round he fired.

    steve (a185f0)

  46. KUSA-TV reported that the gunman was wearing a “tactical helmet and body armor.” The church’s pastor said the New Life Church “prepared in advance” for a possible attack, after hearing about the shooting at the missionary training center.


    So has anyone else seen anything about the body armor angle or is that bad info?

    daytrader (ea6549)

  47. If we’re going to disbelieve anyone here it should be Bourbonnais.

    nk (26f031)

  48. I doubt anyone was intentionally wrong. It was probably hard to know exactly what happened. Thus, if you want to question what appear to be honest witnesses, you might as well question everything.

    DRJ (09f144)

  49. CNN


    “You Christians brought this on yourselves,” Murray wrote at 11:03 a.m. on Sunday, CNN affiliate KUSA reported on its Web site.

    “I’m coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the @#%$ teeth and I WILL shoot to kill,” the KUSA report quoted from the final posting.

    With the exception of symbols used to replace an expletive, this was the same wording used by Eric Harris in a posting before he and Dylan Klebold went on a shooting rampage at Columbine High School in 1999.
    The posting, under the user name “nghtmrchld26,” was made several hours after Murray killed two people at the Youth With a Mission Center in Arvada, Colorado, and a few hours before Murray killed two people at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. He later died in a shootout with a church security guard.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  50. From same CNN story

    Murray also copied from the writings of Columbine gunman Harris in another case:

    “God, I can’t wait till I can kill you people. Feel no remorse, no sense of shame, I don’t care if I live or die in the shoot-out. All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you … as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world.”

    While making the postings, Murray also sent hate mail to the mission center, the Rocky Mountain News reported.

    I-Report contributor Richard Werner, 34, said Monday he was a worker at the center in Arvada, Colorado, in 2002, the same time as Murray.

    Werner said five days before Murray was told in 2002 he could not make the Bosnia trip, Murray performed a pair of dark rock songs at a concert at the mission that made fellow workers “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, 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,’ ” Werner said. “He’d say, ‘Don’t worry, Richard. You’re a nice guy. The voices like you.’ ”

    Werner said he instantly 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,’ ” 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.”

    daytrader (ea6549)

  51. A blogger has collected up a lot of postings which seem to have been done by the shooter

    daytrader (ea6549)

  52. COLORADO SPRINGS – The FBI got a tip in between two shootings on church campuses warning them about Matthew Murray because of the violent messages he had posted on an anti-Pentecostal Web site.

    Murray, 24, shot and killed two people, 26-year-old Tiffany Johnson and 24-year-old Philip Crouse, at Youth With a Mission in Arvada on early Sunday morning. He also wounded two others.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  53. I don’t condone violence in any way, but I think we as a country are not addressing a bigger problem, and it’s not our music, television or media. This young man was no doubt out of control, but the core issues he had with our society was not totally irrational. And I resent the fact that CNN is comparing him – a 24-year-old man raging against the hypocrisy and evil of the Christian Administration – to the Columbine killers, who were young high school kids that raged because they were outcasts. Not accepting the Christian administration and its ruin in the world is NOT the same as being an outcast. His qualms were not unfounded. Even without the Ted fiasco, Church administrations for years have been using the name of God and Jesus to benefit for their own goods, preach hatred and prey on the starving and desperate. We’ve seen their hypocrisy time and time again, and as far back as when Western Europeans colonized Africa, Christians have used God and Jesus as an explanation for slavery, racism and now homophobia. And then they spread their hatred by preying on the poor, hungry and desperate in places like South America, where there are huge cemeteries built for children under the age of 5 because the South Americans are being told by their Church not to use condoms, yet they can’t afford to feed their children. I’d even go as far as to call those Church’s and missionaries mass murderers…one should see how many millions of those graves there are. Although I disagree with violence, I can’t completely poo-poo this man’s message, and I can’t disagree with it either.

    Jojo (485afe)

  54. I found the board where he was doing the original postings.

    Press Release: Threatening posts are now available

    Good evening everyone,

    In the interests of public service in trying to understand what happened, the Board of Directors has decided to move the threatening posts to an open forum for the public to see to try and make sense of all this chaos.

    We are reposting these publicly because, since the shooter has died, and it is not likely to compromise any investigation for law enforcement. We removed the posts initially from public viewing because at the time we did not want to compromise any investigations. Law enforcement has had access to these posts.

    You may now come to our forums and view the posts.

    Thanks to everyone – forum members, news media, and law enforcement – for your efforts and kind concern in these matters.

    Here is a direct link:…orumsfrm60


    Joe Istre

    President, Association of Former Pentecostals

     This is the link to the collected postings if the above doesn’t work.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  55. From what I have been reading on some other blogs describing him the interpretation they get from what they have found is that his mother in particular seemed to believe his was some sort of chosen one and raised him very very strict and in his own words searched his room for music and movies like searching for drugs.

    Overall it gives the impression that he was raised in an environment that was wrapped so tight that he finally exploded as a counter reaction.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  56. From the posting time line , it looks like he posted prior to the killings at the first location, then came back and posted before going on to do the shootings at the church.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  57. 45 Steve — “Either Bourbonnais is wrong or the autopsy is a fabrication. He stated Assam fired the last round and he disarmed Murray who held a jammed gun.”

    Not hard, and I’m not even a CSI.

    Goblin is shooting and being shot. He goes down, and (intentionally or not) fires the handgun, killing himself instantly. This causes his hand to loosen his grip on the handgun, and when the slide slams back, the cartridge doesn’t properly eject. Slide comes forward, attempting to load, and jams.

    Doesn’t mean that Bourdonnais is right or that the autopsy is not a fabrication. Just a way it could have happened.

    What people see (and perhaps more importantly remember) in times of stress is only loosely correlated to what is really happening in the world around them. Piles of studies to show this.

    htom (412a17)

  58. We publicize massacres after massacres, but did we learn anything from those massacres? Do we just report it and move on like it never happened? Do we analyze and attempt to avoid its recurrence? If so, it would be much better not to report it lest it encourage copycats.

    Sceptic (8275a9)

  59. So from all I have read the shooter had stayed for a period of about 4 months at the very dorm where the first set of killings happened. He was training for the mission to Bosnia but was not allowed to go and then left or was kicked out of the place for strange behavior. Don’t know how long this was before what happened now.

    Seems the sisters shot at the church may have gone on the trip he was kicked off of, but I haven’t firmly linked that yet.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  60. He was kicked off the Bosnia mission three years ago.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  61. Some thoughts after reading Matthew Murray’s postings:–

    (1) I do know that there are some Christian denominations (perhaps the group that Matthew’s mother belonged to was one of them) that are not ‘cults’ in the conventional sense but are nonetheless rather extremist in their teachings & practices. Members do not have ‘assurance of salvation’ and believe that the salvation offered by Christ can be compromised by their individual failure to live up to strict standards of an ascetic lifestyle. I can imagine that members would end up either extremely self-righteous (‘hypocrites’, in Matthew’s words) or extremely guilt/condemnation-ridden (like Matthew himself).

    I would like readers to know that most Christian denominations–most notably JESUS Himself–are not like this at all.

    (2) One has to consider the possibility that Matthew’s perceptions could have been distorted by mental illness, in particular, paranoid schizophrenia. Ex-bunkmate reported that Matthew said he was communicating with ‘voices’.

    People suffering from schizophrenia have a high rate of suicide. The disease starts to manifest in young adulthood–Matthew’s agegroup. When there’s the element of paranoia, sufferers think dark thoughts about people that are mostly groundless, but they are completely convinced that these allegations are true.

    Matthew’s allegations about rampant promiscuous going-ons on the YWAM campus smacks of paranoia. From what I know about YWAM, it just sounds too far-fetched. It’s almost like he’s projecting onto YWAM what normally happens on secular campuses. Maybe even some of what he alleged his mother had done, or some of his allegations about the ‘senior pastor’ and his family members, result from his paranoia.

    (3) What could have averted the course of events:-

    a) An accurate diagnosis of Matthew’s mental state and appropriate treatment.
    Matthew’s father is an eminent neurologist and would be familiar with the symptoms. But if a child shuts himself off from his parents, it would be hard for even his father to pick up on the symptoms.

    b) From the religious viewpoint, which is also my personal viewpoint, Matthew could have been ‘saved’ by a knowledge of the true gospel. He’s gone too far down the road of Christianity to find ‘peace’ by rejecting it–he tried to find peace by rejecting Christianity and it only brought him more anger & despair. He badly needed to find ‘truth’–as he understood it–in his own religion, but did not find it in time.

    ruack (98785b)

  62. just another dead nut, and good. i disagree with the media rambling on and on “assault rifle this” and assault rifle that”, there is no such thing! a rifle cannot be classified as an “assault rifle” because of how it looks! i could have a really sharp looking slingshot, is that an assault rifle?
    but anyway, thank goodness that lady stopped that maniac. 1 less to trouble us…

    joe (60001b)

  63. Correction it was 5 years ago he was kicked out

    There is a blog named Slapstick Politics which has done great research on the issue

    Initial posting 

    Follow up post 

    daytrader (ea6549)

  64. The Virginia Tech massacre can also be seen as a case of failure of psychiatric ‘containment’ strategies.

    Psychiatric care personnel have to be particularly vigilant about certain demographics (young males) esp. when they express destructive/violent ideations. Society at large has to come to a new place of understanding and acceptance where individual human rights considerations may seem to conflict with the right of society to be free from random destruction of lives.

    Just as there’s such a thing called ‘suicide-watch’ for ‘at-risk’ inmates of hospitals or prisons, we may need to coin a new term called ‘carnage-watch’ or something to this effect, for individuals who seem ‘on the edge’ but for whom we do not have enough reasons not to release them into communal life. SOMEBODY has to keep track of them, what they’re doing or procuring–in particular, weapons of ‘mass destruction’.

    ruack (98785b)

  65. The problem ruack is that there are so many individuals who meet that definition and yet so very very few of them actually carry out any actions that such is hard to see as really practical.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  66. The best thing, the only thing we humans have is hindsight, and its obvious biases aforementioned. Who among you (us) has ever said in this situation, “I see it coming,” before it occurred?

    My heart sincerely goes out to the families, friends and communities affected by these attrocities.

    Many thanks to many of you who cleared up a lot of information regarding this matter.

    EHeavenlyGads (17aca7)

  67. #64. “there are so many individuals who meet that definition and yet so very very few of them actually carry out any actions that such is hard to see as really practical

    Eh, not so if you start by zooming in on those individuals exhibiting symptoms of or actually diagnosed to have psychosis AND have expressed violent/destructive ideations AND are in the demographics (young males). This is just a very small % of the population. This is not a full-proof net, but a good one to start with.

    Unfortunately this is a society with access to guns. In a society without such access, these individuals can rant all they want but simply can’t do as much damage. It isn’t that other countries don’t have as much crime or other forms of violence as the US, but you hear very little about rampant shootings elsewhere–why? Lack of guns in the civilian population in most other countries.

    For the price of the freedom to carry arms, society has to bear the fiscal & human-rights cost of ‘policing’ those individuals fitting the profile of these mass murderers.

    I just think that if the society isn’t ready to expend the effort to look into how best to make sure guns don’t fall into wrong hands, it isn’t ready to allow this degree of freedom to bear arms.

    ruack (98785b)

  68. #65. Humans are unique in this gift of hindsight. (wait, animals learn from their mistakes too!). Hindsight is given so that we can have better foresight next time.

    ruack (98785b)

  69. ruack, I agree with your #67 post. Well said.

    I do hope I see the ability of foresight developed in my lifetime. But I doubt medical and juvenile crime privacy laws (to name only two) will allow their vital information to be used as assistance in matters such as these.

    I would state my disagreement with your post #66 insofar as your last three paragraphs are concerned. Rational, law-abiding citizens do not commit crimes with their legally-possessed firearms. And the records are saturated with examples of criminals finding weapons through illegal means controverting laws on the books to prevent their legal access to same.

    Where there is a will to do wrong, there will be a way. And, as of this writing, we rational folks cannot predict who will and when.

    EHeavenlyGads (17aca7)

  70. “”I doubt medical and juvenile crime privacy laws (to name only two) will allow their vital information to be used as assistance in matters such as these.“”

    All those changes I mentioned have to come right from the top: law-makers & policy-makers. Maybe for the 22nd century :-( But maybe if a random killer sets himself loose in a Whitehouse party, changes can happen very quickly overnight.

    Yeah, it’s just too bad. Wonder if the day will come when there’s a better interpretation of confidentiality rights so as for the better protection of society. Laws are supposed to be for the good of individuals and the society. When the laws end up detrimental, they need to be fine-tuned. Maybe it takes some massive lobbying. But the hallmark of a progressive & intelligent society should be that such things can be figured out.

    examples of criminals finding weapons through illegal means controverting laws on the books to prevent their legal access to same

    By & large, in those countries where there are tight gun-control laws and where the organized-criminals still manage to get hold of guns on the black market, these guns are used in targeted shootings, for example against the private enemies of those criminals. Granted that sometimes the innocent public gets caught in the crossfire, as in armed-robberies etc. But these guns fall hardly into the hands of deranged civilians who set out to kill large number of uninvolved people randomly.

    Another thing I would like to advocate is much tighter drug-laws. Without guns & drugs, you wipe out most of the more menacing types of crimes.

    ruack (98785b)

  71. ruack, actually we’ve seen shootings by young people in Canada, Germany and France off the top of my head, and I’m probably forgetting some.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  72. I don’t know of shootings by young people in Canada, France and Germany that involved arsenals as overpowering as the ones we’ve seen in the last several months.

    Matthew Murray’s, for example [Rocky Mountain News, 12/12]:

    Police found an AR-15 assault rifle, two handguns and a backpack full of ammunition and smoke bombs when they searched Murray’s body and possessions.

    In the vehicle he drove there, police found an AK-47 assault rifle and more ammunition. Another handgun was found after a search of his home.

    He assembled this over the last several weeks. A UPS Store employee called Greenwood Village police in September and alerted them Murray was receiving shoe-box loads of .40 caliber ammunition. A Greenwood Village officer says he he queried Murray.

    Wonder what became of that “query” and whether it even generated a report.

    steve (999e2e)

  73. Canada has gun-access too. Some Canadians say (quite snarkily) that this is one unsavory effect of living nextdoor to the USA :-)

    I’m not sure how gun laws are in France & Germany. But I’ve lived some time in a S.E.Asian country with very strict gun & drug laws. Crimes do happen but you don’t feel the ‘menace’ on the streets from the knowledge there could be a gun-toting high-on-crack guy somewhere lurking. In road-rage incidents the worst that ever happens is that you get the ‘finger’, not getting shot at. Off the cuff, I’ll say that over there you get <5 gun-related crimes per million pp. in all of 10 years.

    I don’t think we can transpose the whole experience over to the USA, given the unique history, culture & geography (image of gun-toting frontier-people springs to mind) but some lessons can be learned here.

    ruack (98785b)

  74. The kid in Erfurt Germany used a high-capacity handgun and a shotgun and killed 18. Another last year in Germany used two sawed off shotguns and a bomb and killed one and injured 27. A kid in Argentina killed three with a handgun. A kid in Finland killed 8 people with a .22 rimfire.

    A Canadian college student used a Ruger semi-automatic rifle legally purchased in Canada to kill 14 and wound another 14 in Montreal. In Dawson, another Canadian used a semi-auto carbine, a handgun and a shotgun to shoot 20 people, killing one.

    There are many more. As I said, it happens outside the US too, and not infrequently.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  75. Canada has gun-access too.

    Indeed, the Dawson College shooter in Montreal last year carried a pistol-caliber carbine and a shotgun. He’d undergone military training with Canadian Forces Leadership. He too committed suicide after being shot in the arm by a guard.

    Sunday’s shooter Matthew Murray had a Bushmaster XM15 Assault Rifle, a Beretta .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun, a Springfield Armory 9mm semiautomatic handgun, a Beretta .22-caliber handgun and an AK-47 which was purchased three weeks ago at Robert’s Firearms in Aurora.

    You may recall the Washington-area sniper also had a Bushmaster XM15. The families of eight victims won a $2.5 million settlement from the manufacturer and the dealer who supplied the rifle used in the 2002 shootings. It had been shoplifted, apparently.

    steve (999e2e)

  76. Its unlikely that anyone would obtain a settlement like the one against the gun dealer in the DC sniper case, given that that dealer’s record keeping was so bad and changes to the law since.

    SPQR (26be8b)

    Interesting study on gun ownership in Canada compared to 8 western nations

    % of households with gun-ownership :–
    USA >40% — highest
    Switzerland >30%
    Canada & France >20%
    (Germany was not in this study)

    “” Switzerland is a noted example of a country in which, due to the country’s conscription and militia traditions, firearm ownership is widespread. Owing to Switzerland’s history, all able-bodied male Swiss citizens aged between 21 and 50 (55 for officers) are issued assault rifles and ammunition in order to perform their annual military obligations. Because of this, Switzerland is one of the few nations in the world with a higher rate of firearm ownership than the United States.[51] Also, Switzerland has a relatively low rate of gun crime.[51] The comparatively low level of violent crime, despite the liberal gun laws, is demonstrated by the fact that Swiss politicians rarely have the same level of police protection as their counterparts in the United States and other countries, as was noted following the fatal shooting of several government officials in the Swiss canton of Zug in September 2001.[52] According to many historians, Switzerland’s militia tradition of “every man a soldier” contributed to the preservation of its neutrality during the Second World War, when it was not invaded by Nazi Germany. Despite Switzerland being a thorn in Germany’s side, it was not invaded because the military cost to the Nazis would have been too high.“”

    German Gun Laws: “”Gun restricton laws applied only to handguns, not to long guns or ammunition. Writes Prof. Bernard Harcourt of the University of Chicago, “The 1938 revisions completely deregulated the acquisition and transfer of rifles and shotguns, as well as ammunition.“”

    ruack (98785b)

  78. Sorry the last reference regarding German gun laws should be:

    ruack (98785b)

  79. The Harcourt quote on Nazi era gun laws seems irrelevant, ruack. Caveat utils Wiki as we say.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  80. #78. Oh, I thought it was the latest revision they had regarding their gun laws. I was under the impression the 1938 revision is still in effect today.


    ruack (98785b)

  81. “”BELLEVUE, Wash., Dec. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — For her remarkable display of heroism and courage under fire, the Second Amendment Foundation announced today that it will recognize Jeanne Assam, who confronted a gunman on Dec. 9 at the New Life Church shooting in Colorado Springs, with the Eleanor Roosevelt Award.””,241345.shtml

    ruack (98785b)

  82. Ruack, there have been more revelations of shenanigans at Wikipedia since that discussion on Debunkers.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  83. “”Assam’s brother, real estate agent Sam Assam of Sioux Falls, said he talked to his sister Sunday after the shooting.

    “She was understating what really happened. I didn’t understand that she was advancing on the guy while he was firing on her,” Sam Assam said Tuesday.

    “I kind of chewed her out. I said, ‘What are you doing? The guy had an assault weapon, and you’re coming at him with a pistol?’ and she said, ‘Somebody had to do something.’ ” “”

    ruack (98785b)

  84. ‘Somebody had to do something.’

    I hope she is married with many children. We need to preserve those genes.

    nk (26f031)

  85. I hope she is married with many children.

    She is unmarried and has no children.

    Super track star in college.

    steve (999e2e)


    Pretty comprehensive account of Matthew Murray’s inner journey. I feel so sorry for his mother. I’m sure she did the best she knew how and to be portrayed as so evil by your own flesh & blood, & to have it broadcast to the entire world, and to have no chance to correct the misconceptions that Matthew had, is the cruelest thing. Whatever evil force that possessed him sought to destroy her but I want to say to her: be strong and let not evil triumph over good.

    ruack (98785b)

  87. “”Professors and counselors hypothesize in regard to Matthew Murray’s thinking“”

    I highly recommend this report.

    ruack (98785b)

  88. The coroner claims Murray died from self-inflicted shotgun wound. How did that happen? He only had an AR-15 rifle and two semi-automatic handguns. I think the coroner is lying in an effort to devalue the heroic efforts of Jeanne Assam as an armed private citizen.

    Mark (6aaa82)

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