December 11, 2007 in Nation/World

Gunman in killings tossed from church class

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review
 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The gunman believed to have killed four people at a megachurch and missionary training school had been thrown out of the school a few years ago and had been sending it hate mail, police said in court papers Monday.

The gunman was identified as Matthew Murray, 24, who was home-schooled in what a friend said was a deeply religious Christian household. Murray’s father is a neurologist and leading multiple-sclerosis researcher.

Five people – including Murray – were killed, and five others wounded Sunday in the two eruptions of violence 12 hours and 65 miles apart.

The first attack took place at Youth With a Mission, a training center for missionaries in the Denver suburb of Arvada; the other occurred at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, where Murray was shot by a security guard, though investigators said he may have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Colorado Springs police said the “common denominator in both locations” was Youth With a Mission. The training center maintains an office at the 10,000-member church.

In a statement, the training center said health problems kept Murray from finishing the program. It did not elaborate. Murray did not complete the lecture phase or a field assignment as part of a 12-week program, Youth With a Mission said.

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