December 12, 2007

Colorado Shootings Aftermath 2

"Why was I told that I couldn't be a missionary because I wasn't `social enough'? I was told that I was `an introvert"--Matthew Murray

**Update 3: Murray purchased five guns from licensed dealers, Assam fired 10 rounds; more of Murray's anti-Christian rants, railed against Christian homeschooling, posted links to Columbine videos; Ben at Mount Virtus notes the MSM's meme creation

**Update 2: Murray's parents issue a statement; Faith Bible Chapel and YWAM in Arvada celebrate the lives of Philip Crouse and Tiffany Johnson; Murray family meets with family members of victims Crouse and Johnson--forgiveness

**Update: Murray's ammunition purchases alerted UPS manager, prompted police interest in September, but there was no contact with Murray

The FBI received a tip between Sunday's shootings as a poster at the web forum frequented by Matthew Murray became worried by increasingly violent and threatening messages:
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.

Later in the day, he went to New Life Church and shot and killed two teenage sisters, Stephanie and Rachel Works, and seriously wounded their father, David Works, before a security guard shot him. One other person was wounded at New Life, but his injuries were not life threatening.

On Tuesday, police said that Murray shot and killed himself after he was wounded by the security guard.

In between the shootings, Murray posted violent comments on the Web site. In the posting he warned of a shootout and said he was prepared to kill people.

Murray, who went by the name nghtmrchld26, made at least 11 posts between the two shootings.

At least one visitor to the site was alarmed and contacted the FBI promptly, before the second attack, the site's administrator said.
Murray's violent screeds prompted one woman to reach out to him months before Sunday's shootings, but she was rebuffed:
Seven months before the shootings, Marlene Winell, a former psychologist, heard of Murray's postings on an anti-Pentecostal Web site. She posted a message publicly to him writing, "I can see that you are in a great deal of pain and I'd like to invite you to contact me."

"One of your readers has contacted me to express concern, and I'd like to be helpful if I can. People do care about you and there is hope."

Winell, who spoke to 9Wants to Know Tuesday afternoon from San Francisco, says she wishes she could have helped Murray.

"This was a person who was definitely in a lot of pain," she said. "I simply invited him to contact me because I can understand when someone is experiencing these feelings they are very intense feelings."

Murray responded to Winell's postings saying, "I've already been working with counselors." He also wrote, "It's so funny how many people want to help you and love you and counsel you... when there is money involved."

Winell says Murray never contacted her directly even though she left her e-mail address and contact information on the Web site where Murray posted his writings.
Still more on Murray's ejection from YWAM, and additional postings from the killer:
It is unclear why Murray targeted the two churches, but he was dismissed from Youth With a Mission in 2002 for what the training center has described only as health reasons. Youth With a Mission maintains an office at New Life Church's World Prayer Center.

Murray's parents donated $250 to the prayer center several years ago, New Life Senior Pastor Brady Boyd told The Associated Press. The church also discovered a visitors card indicating that Matthew Murray attended services several years ago, Boyd said. The gunman's online rants make passing references both to New Life and founding pastor Ted Haggard.

Boyd said no Murray family members were members of the church, and he downplayed the connections.

"We're a large church, very visible, and (Matthew Murray) was not a member, was never connected, never affiliated with the church, and neither were his parents," Boyd said. "It has no bearing on the events or the shooting."

Murray had been making posts on the anti-Pentecostal Web site for months before the shootings.

One post, called "My YWAM Horror Story," complained about being removed from the Arvada youth mission program.

"Why was I told that I couldn't be a missionary because I wasn't `social enough'? I was told that I was `an introvert,"' nghtmrchld26 wrote. "Everyone else got to go on their outreaches except for a few who lied about smoking (cigarettes). The authoritarianism and hypocrisy is outrageous."

In an Oct. 6 post, nghtmrchld26 wrote about his anger at the church.

"We'll make our own religion and be our own God's (sic) instead (of) listening to some abusive pedophile church like what I was raised in telling us who's `saved' and who's not," the person wrote.

"During this dark period I've realized this is not the way just to be a martyr. I can't walk alone any longer and I'll fight for the ones who can't fight. If I lose at then (sic) least I tried. If I have to give my life you can have it."

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