Skip to comments.Coroner : Colorado Gunman Killed Himself (Left post on Christian website)
Posted on 12/12/2007 2:52:24 PM PST by Lorianne
Matthew Murray, the man who police say shot and killed four people at two separate locations in Colorado on Sunday, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the coroners office said Tuesday.
The death of Matthew Murray has been ruled a suicide, CNN reported the El Paso County Coroners Office said in a statement. It should be noted that he was struck multiple times by the security officer, which put him down. He then fired a single round killing himself.
Police Sgt. Skip Arms told The Associated Press that Murray shot himself in the head.
Police say before Murray, 24, went down, he shot and killed sisters Stephanie and Rachael Works, ages 18 and 16, and wounded their father, who was in or near their car in the parking lot of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Murray also wounded two other people with his assault rifle as he re-entered the church.
One of them, Larry Bourbonnais, said he tried to distract the shooter before security guard Jeanne Assam made her move.
Im telling you right now, shes the hero, not me. It was the bravest thing I have ever seen, CNN reported Bourbonnais said. She had no cover. He fired I heard him fire three. I heard her fire three. And she just began she kept yelling Surrender ! the whole time. And she just walked forward, like shes walking to her car in the parking lot, firing the whole time.
Bourbonnais said when he and Assam reached Murray, He had slumped backwards, slid down on the floor, and expired.
The assault at New Life Church came about 12 hours after Murray shot and killed two people and wounded two others at the Youth With a Mission center in Arvada, Colorado, 80 miles away, CNN reported police said.
A memorial service was scheduled for Wed. for the two staff members there who were killed, Tiffany Johnson, 26, and Philip Crouse, 24, according to the groups co-founder, Peter Warren.
Brady Boyd, senior pastor of New Life Church, told reporters Tuesday he and his church had already forgiven Murray, even though he is still angry about what happened.
But being angry and being unforgiving are two different things, CNN reported Boyd said.
Boyd said his congregation would hold its regular services as scheduled next weekend.
Boyd said members will hold a family meeting Wed. We will gather to worship, pray, mourn and begin our healing process, CNN reported a statement said.
If we could find some motive, some written motive or some recorded motive that he gave, it would be helpful for the healing process, sure, because that is the question : Why ? Why, why, why is going to be the number one question that we answer, CNN reported Boyd said.
CNN said some answers may be found from a warning Murray posted online just 90 minutes before he went to New Life Church.
The message attributed to Matthew Murray using the screen name « nghtmrchld26 » mirrored the wording of a warning posted in 1999 by Eric Harris before he and Dylan Klebold went on a shooting rampage at Columbine High School.
« Im coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the @.%$ teeth and I WILL shoot to kill, » the posting obtained by CNN affiliate KUSA-TV read. This was the same wording used by Harris, with the exception of symbols used to replace an expletive.
Murray, who lived in Englewood, Colorado, just 13 miles from the Columbine campus, titled his entry, You Christians brought this on yourselves. It was published on a Web site for people who had left Pentecostal Christianity.
The message, first reported Monday by KUSA-TV, was taken offline by the sites administrator after he talked to the FBI, but has since been put back online.
CNN reported that Joe Istre, president of the Association of Former Pentecostals (AFP), said the posts were restored so people could try and make sense of all this chaos.
The posting on the online forum, maintained by the group, indicated it was published at 11:03 a.m. on Sunday two hours before the shooting at New Life Church and about 11 hours after the shooting at Youth With A Mission.
In earlier postings, « nghtmrchld26 » railed against the Rev. Ted Haggard, founder of New Life Church.
Haggard was fired last year after a former male prostitute alleged he had a three-year cash-for-sex relationship with him. Haggard admitted buying methamphetamine from the man but said he didnt use it.
In a post from March, CNN reported Murray complained that because of his mothers concerns about video games and popular music, « I remember having to listen to everything in secret, at very low volume levels or with headphones, whether it was video games, TV, DVDs, or music/radio. »
He also wrote, "My mother would search EVERYWHERE on a regular basis. Youd have thought I was hiding methamphetamines (which her favorite pastor, Ted Haggard was found guilty of) or something serious, but it was all over DVDs, CDs, and video games.
FBI Received Tip Warning Them about Gunman
KUSA reported the FBI got a tip in between two shootings on church campuses warning them about Murray because of the violent messages he had posted on the AFP Forum.
At least one visitor to the site was alarmed and contacted the FBI promptly, before the second attack, the sites administrator said.
KUSA said the FBI confirmed they got the warning around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday and contacted Arvada Police. According to the FBI, agents were examining Murrays many posts on the Web site when the shootings at New Life took place.
Seven months before the shootings, Marlene Winell, a former psychologist, heard of Murrays on-line postings. KUSA said she posted a message publicly to him writing, I can see that you are in a great deal of pain and Id like to invite you to contact me. One of your readers has contacted me to express concern, and Id like to be helpful if I can. People do care about you and there is hope.
KUSA said Winell wishes she could have helped Murray.
This was a person who was definitely in a lot of pain, Winell told KUSA. 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 Winells postings saying, Ive already been working with counselors. He also wrote, Its so funny how many people want to help you and love you and counsel you... when there is money involved.
Winell told KUSA that 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.
Winell told KUSA that despite Murrays writings, she never thought he would act out violently.
« I am surprised he took it that far, » she said. « People have a lot of anger but rarely do people take it that far. »
KUSA reported that 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 couldnt be a missionary because I wasnt `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. »
KUSA reported that in an Oct. 6 post, nghtmrchld26 wrote about his anger at the church.
« Well make our own religion and be our own Gods (sic) instead (of) listening to some abusive pedophile church like what I was raised in telling us whos `saved and whos not, » the person wrote.
« During this dark period Ive realized this is not the way just to be a martyr. I cant walk alone any longer, and Ill fight for the ones who cant fight. If I lose at then (sic) least I tried. If I have to give my life you can have it. »
But he did not do it until the private citizen shot him three times. Until that point, he was shooting at every Christian he could get a bead on. The armed citizen is a hero, who thankfully does not have to live with the idea of having killed a man. No matter how evil the man, killing them can leave scars.
So now it's an "assault rifle", again. First it was that, then it was a shotgun. Now a "assault rifle" again
I wish to heck someone would just say specifically what sort of weapons he had, and where a wacko like him got them.
IF it was a rifle, I'll be it was just a plain old semi-auto, not a the select fire weapon it would need to be to qualify as an "assault rifle". And where was he carrying the supposed 1,000 rounds of ammunition.
In an assault wheelbarrow.
I just wonder if this guy was driven over the edge by the tenor of comments on some of these militant athiest websites or blogs.
Kinda proved them right. Sounds like someone assessed him pretty good. This reminds me of muslims who say "we are a religion of peace, and if you dare say anything against us, we will kill you and chop off your head. See how peace loving we are."
a box of shells is a pound easy - he had two cinder blocks worth of ammo?
Why? Because evil exists. Stop looking for reasons in unreasonable people.
My YWAM Horror Story http://p223.ezboard.com/fexpentecostalforumsfrm7.showMessage?topicID=1725.topic&index=10
This is a paraphrase of a verse from the song "Pulse Of The Maggots" by Slipknot.
I heard an interview with the 59 yr old Vietnam Vet who distracted the shooter allowing Jeane to shoot.....after he quit shooting they both approached him, and took his guns away - they were afraid there might be another shooter. But, the interviewing host asked the fellow about the shooter shooting himself....and he could not figure out how that could have been....he was VERY, VERY skeptical of that.
Me too !
I’ve never seen a church with an armed guard. Good thing here, but why? Threats, terrible neighborhood, megachurch with megacollections?
***In an assault wheelbarrow.***
Been reading the writings of “gunkid” again, haven’t you.
Maybe it was a .22 rimfire rifle and two bricks (500 rds each ) of ammo.
An Anti-Pentecostal forum?
Hmmmmmm. Didnt know their were Anti-Christian sites.
Straight up agnostic or atheist I understand but....
OK This fellow had some deep deep mental illness issues.
Prayers for those who died needlessly.
Not sure who gunkid is. Sounds like a good guy. Actually, I suspect most of the amunition was back in his vehicle. He was moving around and needed the rest of it for his next stop. Mrs. Assam didn't just save lives at New Life.
I admire her greatly. Even though she may not have fired the actual shot that killed him, it was her firepower & bravery that knocked him down and caused him to shoot himself. Either way, she’s still a hero!
“Ive never seen a church with an armed guard. Good thing here, but why?”
A question that answers itself.
Threats, terrible neighborhood, megachurch with megacollections?
Many states have laws that say, no guns in churches.
This makes churches a "soft target" , as well places like the Mall in Omaha, Virginia Tech and any business that has posted signs saying: no guns allowed.
The State of Missouri passed a Concealed Carry Law a few years ago. Missouri citizens that want to carry concealed must take a 8 hour class, pass a written and shooting test. (Cost $100 - $250). Then go to the county sheriff's office to fill out a form, be finger printed, have a FBI background check. ($100 for a 3 year permit to carry concealed).
In Missouri the law says no guns in church even with a CC Permit. It is my understanding that some states allow private citizens to carry concealed in church with "explicit approval".
Early last Sunday morning in Colorado, Jeane Assam talked to the pastor about increased security at the church. She had worked as a police officer in another state but in Colorado she volunteer as a armed private citizen to serve as additional security.
Jeane Assam and Larry Bourbonnais are hero's.
Texas had the "no guns in Church" nonsense when they first passed their CHL law. But by the next time the legislature met, a large group of pastors, preachers and priests objected and the law was changed to treat churches no different than any other private property. IOW, rather than explicit approval being required, explicit disapproval is required, in the form of a regulation (30.06) sign, a written card with the same information handed to the CHL holder, or oral notification to the CHL holder. In the latter two cases, no offense is committed by the CHL holder, unless he or she refuses to leave after being notified.
That would explain the 1,000 rounds, but a .22 rimfire assault rifle?
Uh....the MOST unsafe I’ve ever felt is going into ANY building that says NO GUNS ALLOWED on the front door (grandson’s school included)....Churches (and schools and shopping malls) that do NOT plan ahead JUST in CASE....are sitting ducks.
Plus made a lot of churches safer.