12/10/2007

Colo. police name suspect in church shootings

By Tom McGhee
The Denver Post

ARVADA, Colo. Arvada and Colorado Springs police will hold a joint press conference at 4 p.m. about church-related shooting rampages yesterday in each town.


Arvada, Colorado police chief Don Wick answers questions from the media about a shooting of four missionary trainees Sunday in Arvada, Colo. (AP Photo/Will Powers)
The joint unveiling of information suggests that the gunman in each was the same man, who has been identified in TV news reports as an Arapahoe County man, Matthew Murray, 24.

A gunman armed with hundreds of rounds of ammunition and four guns including an AK-47 assault rifle killed two teen sisters, and wounded their father and two others at New Life Church in Colorado Springs.

The man fired numerous rounds from the AK-47 in the parking lot before entering the church where he was killed by a security guard. The guard fired as many as six bullets into him, according to sources.

The dead man also had an automatic pistol and a shotgun.

The shootings at a service at the mega-church Sunday followed a bloodbath in the early morning hours at Youth With a Mission, a missionary training facility in Arvada.

Two Youth With a Mission staff members died after that shooting and two more were wounded.

CNN has identified Murray, whose last known address was at his parent's unincorporated Arapahoe County home, as the shooter in both incidents.

In 1990, Murray was registered as a home schooled child with the Cherry Creek School District, said district spokeswoman Tustin Amole. He later took the Iowa test, a standard test given to third graders nationwide at the time, said Amole. That is the last record that the district has on him.


Arvada Colorado police officers protect a perimeter around the Youth With A Mission building where four people were shot Sunday, in Arvada, Colo. (AP Photo/Will Powers)
An official at Colorado Christian University said the school's records show that Matthew Murray enrolled in one class last year but dropped out soon after.

Tiffany Johnson, 26, and Philip Crouse, 24, were the Youth With a Mission staffers killed.

Charlie Blanch, 22, and Dan Griebenow, 24, also were wounded.

The missionary group plans a press conference at 4 p.m. as well today. The organization said that though Murray worked for YWAM at one time, reports that he was a member are incorrect.

If Murray was the killer, he has something in common with the sisters who died at New Life - Stephanie Works, 18, and Rachael Works, 16. They too were home-schooled.

Their father, David Works, 51, was shot twice in the abdomen and groin and is in fair condition, police said. Judy Purcell, 40, and Larry Bourbannais, 59, were also wounded.

The New Life security guard's name has not yet been released.

Brady Boyd, pastor of New Life Church, said the gunman has no ties to the church.

"None of us grew up in a church where this is a reality" Boyd said of the violence. "Now it is."

The shootings in Colorado Springs happened at about 1:10 p.m. Sunday with 7,000 worshipers still on the New Life campus, after morning services.

Copyright 2007 The Denver Post

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