2007 Colorado YWAM and New Life shootings
The 2007 Colorado YWAM and New Life shootings occurred December 9, 2007, when Matthew J. Murray attacked the Youth With A Mission training center in Arvada, Colorado, and New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Arvada missionary shooting 
|Arvada missionary shooting|
|Location||Arvada, Colorado, United States|
|Date||Sunday, December 9, 2007
c. 12:30 a.m. MST (UTC-7)
|Target||Youth With a Mission center|
|Attack type||Shooting spree|
|Perpetrator||Matthew J. Murray|
A shooting at the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) center, killed two people and wounded two others in Arvada. The gunman entered the building early Sunday morning December 9, 2007, and began shooting. Witnesses told police that the gunman had been a 24-year-old white male, wearing a dark jacket and skull cap, armed with a handgun and left on foot.
The shooting 
Around 12:30 a.m. MST (07:30 UTC), following a Christmas banquet that had taken place earlier that night, a man knocked on the door of the Youth With a Mission center. The man asked personnel in the facility if he could stay at the center overnight. When he was refused, the man opened fire, killing Tiffany Johnson, the center's director of hospitality, and staff member Philip Crouse. Dan Griebenow, 24, was critically wounded with a bullet in his neck, and Charlie Blanch, 22, suffered bullet wounds to the leg.
|Missionary shooting victims|
|1. Tiffany Johnson, age 26, killed|
|2. Philip Crouse, age 24, killed|
|3. Dan Griebenow, age 24, wounded|
|4. Charlie Blanch, age 22, wounded|
Local police quickly conducted a canine search of the surrounding area for the man, but were unable to find him. They had hoped that fresh snow would help them track the suspect, but were unable to locate him. A reverse 911 call went out to residents of the neighborhood to let them know a shooting suspect might be in their area.
On December 13, 2007, Murray's family issued a statement saying that it was "groping for answers" and issued an apology.
New Life Church shooting 
|New Life Church shooting|
|Location||Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States|
|Date||Sunday, December 9, 2007
c. 1:00 p.m. MST (UTC-7)
|Target||New Life Church|
|Attack type||Shooting spree|
|Deaths||3 (including the perpetrator)|
|Perpetrator||Matthew J. Murray|
|Defender||Jeanne Assam (Former police officer/church member providing security) .|
On Sunday, December 9, 2007, at about 1 p.m. Murray, armed with a semi-automatic rifle and two pistols, entered the foyer of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs and fatally shot two and wounded three others before himself being shot and wounded by Jeanne Assam, a former sworn Minneapolis police officer and a church member acting as security. Murray then took his own life.
The shooting 
|Church shooting victims|
|1. Stephanie Works, age 18, killed|
|2. Rachel Works, age 16, killed|
|3. David Works, age 51, wounded|
|4. Judy Purcell, age 40, wounded|
|5. Larry Bourbonnais, age 59, wounded|
At about 1 p.m. MST (20:00 UTC), 30 minutes after the 11 a.m. service had ended at New Life Church, Murray opened fire in the church parking lot shooting the Works family and Judy Purcell, 40. Murray then entered the building's main foyer where he shot Larry Bourbonnais, 59, hitting him in the forearm. At this point, Assam opened fire on Murray with her personally owned concealed weapon. Police say that after suffering multiple hits from Assam's gun, Murray fatally shot himself.
The pastor of the church stated that Assam shot Murray before he entered 50 feet (15 m) inside the building, after she encountered him in the hallway, and that Assam probably saved "over 100 lives."
Following the shooting spree, Colorado Springs Police Department officers searched the church campus looking for suspicious devices. Colorado governor Bill Ritter ordered state authorities to help investigate. The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also came to the site to assist.
It was not immediately known whether the shootings were related to an earlier Arvada missionary shooting, 70 miles (110 km) away. However, prior to the second shooting, police were already conducting an investigation at Murray's home.
At the Arvada missionary shooting, two people died and two were wounded at 12:30 a.m. after a gunman opened fire in a dormitory at a missionary training center on the campus of Faith Bible Chapel.
Police said the description of the gunman in the second shooting was similar to the first: a white male wearing a dark hat and dark jacket.
On December 10, the gunman in both the YWAM Arvada and New Life Church shootings was identified as Matthew J. Murray, age 24, one of two sons of a Colorado neurologist. Reportedly, Murray was homeschooled in a deeply religious Christian household, and he attended, but did not complete, a missionary training program at the YWAM Arvada facility in 2002. Court records indicated that Murray was bitter over his expulsion from the 12-week missionary training program. His expulsion from the school was confirmed by Cheryl Morrison, whose husband, George Morrison, is pastor of the Faith Bible Chapel adjacent to YWAM Denver. She didn't know specifics of the conflict. "I don't think that ‘run-in’ is the word, but they did have to dismiss him. It had to be something of significance, because they go the nth degree with people." Murray was expelled from the school due to "strange behavior," which included playing frightening rock music and claiming to hear voices. Before the second shooting, Murray left several violent and threatening messages on several religious websites, espousing his hatred for Christianity and his intentions on killing as many Christians as possible.
One message read: "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."
In another of his very last posts, made that morning to a Usenet newsgroup, he identified himself as being a member of a local branch of the Ordo Templi Orientis. According to the chapter leader, Murray had attended their events for one or two years, but his request for membership was turned down and he was asked to leave in either September or October.
According to investigators, Murray descended into anti-Christian derangement over a period of several months, and his web-postings became increasingly violent, despondent and hateful. 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 refused her offer. After the killing, police found a letter addressed "To God" by Murray in his car. The letter was listed in an evidence and property invoice of items that Colorado Springs police recovered from a 1992 Toyota Camry belonging to Matthew Murray. The documents were obtained by Newsradio 850 KOA. The note to God was found in the rear passenger seat, along with two books: "I Had to Say Something" by Mike Jones and "Serial Murderers and Their Victims" by Eric W. Hickey, according to the invoice.
In his online postings he cites psychological abuse at the hands of his parent as the main reason for his hatred of Christianity.
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