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Matthew John MURRAY

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 


2007 Colorado YWAM and New Life shootings
 
Classification: Spree killer
Characteristics: Claimed to have been physically and psychologically abused within the church. He cites this as the main reason for his hatred of Christianity
Number of victims: 4
Date of murders: December 9, 2007
Date of birth: December 5, 1983
Victims profile: Tiffany Johnson, 26 / Philip Crouse, 24 / Stephanie Works, 18 / Rachel Works, 16
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Arvada/ColoradoSprings, Colorado, USA
Status: Committed suicide by shooting himself the same day
 
 

 
 

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Matthew J. Murray (1983 – December 9, 2007) was an American gunman who on December 9, 2007 killed four people in the Youth With A Mission and New Life Church shootings before taking his own life.

Murray was one of two sons of a prominent Colorado neurologist and was homeschooled by his mother Loretta in a suburb of Denver, in what friends and neighbors described as a deeply religious Christian home. Because of his background and his killing of fellow Christians, American Christians have sought answers to what FoxNews.com columnist Lauren Green has called "senseless murder".

Murray's death

Jeanne Assam, a New Life Church volunteer security guard, shot Murray several times with her personally-owned concealed weapon. After Murray was wounded, he killed himself with a shotgun.

According to the Colorado Springs Police Department, Murray was carrying two handguns, an assault rifle and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Pastor Brady Boyd estimated that about 7,000 people were on the church campus at the time of the shooting.

Motives

Police initially claimed when supporting a search warrant that Murray had recently sent hate mail to the Youth With A Mission training center--but later retracted the statement, stating that Murray sent e-mails to an affiliated group in which he criticized Christians but did not threaten violence. He had been dismissed from the school's program three years earlier. Murray self-identified with Seung-Hui Cho, Eric Harris, and former Children of God member Ricky Rodriguez.

Before the 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."

This posting demonstrates that Murray was influenced by Columbine perpetrator Eric Harris, who left the following message on his website prior to his own killing spree: "I'm coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the fucking teeth and I WILL shoot to kill... God, I can't wait til 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 a few people. Like Brooks Brown."

Investigators obtained copies of Murray's writings and studied other Web sites. Their probe revealed that his writings, which spanned several months, became increasingly violent. Some web 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.

Other religious affiliations

The Associated Press has reported that "Interviews and Murray's Internet postings depict him as a disturbed young man who was bitter about being an outcast, turned against charismatic Christianity and dabbled in other beliefs." Murray was also a member of Ad Astra Oasis of Ordo Templi Orientis before being asked to leave that organization.

Letter to God

KMGH-TV reported that a letter to God was found in Murray's car asking Jesus for answers to plaintive questions such as "What have I done so wrong? What is wrong with me anyways? Am I really such a bad person?" and "why didn't you ever answer my cries?".

The letter was photographed and published on KMGH's website. In the photograph, four words were obscured by black marks. These may be obscenities; both the Associated Press and KMGH reported that the letter was "laced with expletives", but otherwise did not indicate the nature of those four words.


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

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.

Aftermath

After the incident, the YWAM base evacuated its 80 people to the mountain campus in Golden, 45 of whom were in the building at the time of the shooting.

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

On Sunday, December 9, 2007, at about 1 p.m. Murray, armed with an assault 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 church member acting as security. Murray then took his own life.

The shooting

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.

Assam later stated that "God guided me and protected me [and I] did not think for a minute to run away."

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.

Connections

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.

He was also baptized into the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in late 2006, according to church records.

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.

Additional internet postings discovered after the shooting revealed that Murray may have been bi-sexual or possibly homosexual. He also claimed to have been physically and psychologically abused within the church, and hinted at sexual abuse. In his online postings he cites this as the main reason for his hatred of Christianity. He was discovered to have posted on a suicide forum under the name DyingChild_65.

Wikipedia.org


Murray obsesses with guns, shootings

By Howard Pankratz - The Denver Post

March 28, 2008

Jacinda Treadway was the last person to talk to Matthew Murray before he opened fire on parishioners at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs.

He told her from his cell phone that he had been researching mass shootings.

Murray had already killed two people at the Youth with a Mission in Arvada and, unknown to Treadway, he was in the vicinity of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs as they spoke, Arvada police said in a report released Thursday.

Murray told Treadway he knew about the Arvada shootings and told Treadway it just didn't make sense.

"It's crazy...like the Omaha shooting last week," Murray told Treadway from his cell phone, referring to eight people gunned down at a mall. "I don't understand what the world's coming to."

Murray added: "I can't believe it, one (Arvada) after another (Omaha). I was studying that."

Then he told Treadway that he was not only studying the Omaha shooting but researching a school shooting - either Columbine or another mass shooting that made headlines.

"Matthew said he was researching kids who do that," Treadway told investigators later.

According to police, Murray had been fascinated by the earlier mass shootings and their perpetrators.

His computer was replete with downloads on Columbine; killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold; the Virginia Tech massacre and its shooter, Cho Seung-Hui; the Platte Canyon hostage situation; and Ricky Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, who as a child member of a cult claimed he was forced to perform sex acts, later killed a former nanny and then killed himself.

In addition to those incidents, investigators found downloads for the February 2007 rampage of Sulejman Talovic at the Trolley Square mall in Salt Lake City, that resulted in the deaths of five people and serious injuries to four others.

And Murray had studied the shooting spree of Robert Hawkins at Omaha's Westroads Mall who killed eight people on the Wednesday before Murray's Sunday shootings in Colorado.

According to law enforcement analysts, when they put in key words in Murray's computer, they got 444 connections to "Columbine," 33 for "V Tech," 9 for "Platte Canyon," 3 for "Utah Shooting," and one for "Nebraska Shooting."

In addition, Murray - like Harris and Klebold - had a keen interest in guns and explosives. Under the terms "guns" and "Beretta", there were a total of 107 hits. And under "Explosives" and "Explosive Devices," there were 96 entries.

The fact that Murray was gathering ammunition was something that his parents, Dr. Ron Murray and Loretta Murray, were aware of.

He had told his mother that he was going to have deliveries of ammunition to their for use in hunting.

On one occasion, she told police, ammunition was delivered to the Murray home addressed to Matthew, and UPS had her sign for it.

When Murray's father had a conversation with Matthew about the ammunition, Matthew "played it off" and said he had met up with some friends and planned to go hunting.

Murray told his son he didn't want the ammunition in the house and to keep it outside in his car.

Police said that Murray, a well-known Denver-area neurosurgeon, went into his son's room several times to see if his son had any guns. He went through a drawer or two, but did not turn the mattress upside down or look in every possible area to see if there were weapons, police said.

The doctor found no weapons.

During the months before the shootings in Arvada and Colorado Springs, officials said, Murray had acquired an arsenal of weapons. They included a Bushmaster XM-15; an AK-47 assault rifle; a Beretta .40 cal. semi-automatic handgun; a Beretta .22 cal. handgun; and a Springfield Armory 9mm semi-automatic handgun.

In addition, investigators said that Murray was armed with more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition when he went to the New Life Church. Another 1,000 rounds of ammunition was located in his bedroom.

Employees at the UPS store, 4950 Yosemite St., were very concerned about the ammunition Murray was receiving, according to investigators.

Murray had gone to the store to open a mail box so he could receive ammunition by mail. Shortly afterwards, the employees noted that Murray was receiving "boxes and boxes of ammunition."

Employees noted, for instance, that on Sept. 18, he received a box of "six clips" - three of the clips held 16 bullets and three clips held 30 bullets.

One of the employees asked Murray if he went to a shooting range a lot. Murray replied he did because he was trying to get into the Army.

Throughout the hundreds of pages of police reports, people who were acquainted with Murray described him as secretive, socially awkward and given to bursts of temper - particularly at his mother.

And like Harris and Klebold he was a computer-oriented, blasting various segments of society in his online posts, with a particular focus on Christianity.

He chafed under his Christian upbringing and let the world know through the Internet.

"I went to all kinds of fundamentalist/Pentecostal/evangelical bible studies, conferences, prayer meetings and even a missionary school/ministry called Youth With A Mission Denver. Of course, lots of hypocrisy and no real love to be found at YWAM Denver," wrote Murray. "I know the bible better than most Christian pastors. Oh, and I've already been baptized, received the 'baptism of the Holy spirit,' spoke in tongues and all of those other games Christians love to play."

One of the few people Murray considered a friend was Jacinda Treadway, the woman he spoke to after he had killed in Arvada and was about to kill in Colorado Springs.

Treadway had met Murray at YWAM of Denver (Arvada) and she was taken aback when she found out that he described her as his best or closest friend. At most, she thought of him as an acquaintance.

But Treadway felt very sorry him.

She described him as "beyond awkward" and told investigators that "he was so unable to interact with people."

In the early morning hours after the young people were shot in Arvada, Treadway checked her phone and saw that Murray had called her. In addition, other friends had called to tell her about the Arvada shooting.

When she saw the messages she thought for certain it was Murray who was responsible for the murders at YWAM and she was concerned he might go back and kill more people.

She called the Arvada police but when she was transferred to a tip line, she hung up, not knowing how she could describe in words why she felt Murray was responsible, she later told investigators.

Later that afternoon she spoke to Murray as, unknown to her, he talked to her near the New Life Church. It was then he told her he was researching mass shootings and their perpetrators.

She told police she wanted Murray to convince her he was not responsible for the Arvada shootings, but he never did.

She told police, "I realized I was talking to the person who did this."


Arvada shooting report offers new insights into killer

By Elizabeth Aguilera, Kirk Mitchell and Howard Pankratz - The Denver Post

03/27/2008

The Arvada report being released today about Matthew Murray and the Youth With a Mission shootings in December includes evidence that the shooter was obsessed with pornography and other mass shootings.

It is much more in-depth than what was released by Colorado Springs police earlier this month and offers information not previously disclosed. That includes hundreds of photos of Murray's bedroom and the bloody scene at YWAM; the contents of his computer, including adult and child pornography; and voluminous information about previous mass shootings in Omaha, at Virginia Tech and Columbine.

There are detailed descriptions of his blog postings; a timeline, including his whereabouts and significant cellphone conversations before and after the YWAM shootings; and interviews with people he called during that time, as well as with his family.

Early on Dec. 9, 24-year-old Murray fatally shot Tiffany Johnson, 26, and Philip Crouse, 24, at the mission facility, 12750 W. 63rd Ave., in Arvada.

About 12 hours later, he killed sisters Stephanie, 18, and Rachel Works, 16, outside New Life Church in Colorado Springs.

Jeanne Assam, a member of the church who was serving as a security guard at New Life that day, shot Murray. He then shot himself in the head with a Springfield 9mm pistol, the same gun he had used to kill Johnson and Crouse.

Colorado Springs police released its 450-page report on the New Life shootings on March 12.

Much of the new information comes as a result of a search warrant served on Murray's home in Arapahoe County on the night of the shootings. He lived there his mother, Loretta Murray, and his father, Ronald Murray, a neurosurgeon.

Matthew Murray's room was "in disarray," the report said. Officials found ammunition but no explosive devices. There was a book called "Practical Homicide: How to Survive a Tactical Shooting." Other books found were on witchcraft, Satanism and the Masons. The books were "clearly visible," the report said.

The Arvada police report indicates that experts found more than 500,000 images on Murray's computer, including adult pornography, child pornography and homosexual pornography.

He had downloads about Columbine gunmen Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, the Platte Canyon School shootings and the Virginia Tech shootings. Experts later did a forensic analysis of the computer and found 444 connections to Columbine. There were 33 to Virginia Tech.

Investigators found a map of the location of a CTI co-worker's residence. Murray had been laid off from Central Telecom Inc., police said, and there had been conflicts there between Murray and his co-workers.

There also was a map for a "gnostic Mass" scheduled for the evening of Dec. 8.

The service was organized by Ad Astra Oasis, a gnostic organization that had asked Murray to distance himself from the group.

The investigation revealed that Murray legally purchased $2,700 in ammunition, magazines and supplies from CheaperThanDirt.com. He had legally purchased five weapons, all in his own name. He had altered one, a Bushmaster XM-15, to allow it to fire a larger 6.8mm round. That was the gun he used to kill the Works sisters.

Police said Murray left no note or web posting to explain why he chose New Life and YWAM.


Timeline of December church shootings

DenverPost.com

11:20-11:58 p.m. Dec. 8 — Matthew Murray calls his cousin, Gabe LaPoint.

Midnight — Murray knocks on the door of YWAM while still on phone with LaPoint and is let in by Stephanie Hollman.

12:10 a.m. Dec. 9 — Kenny Snell takes Murray to the men's room.

12:11-12:27 — Murray is on the phone with Deborah Wittrein, an acquaintance from Prince of Peace Church of the Brethren.

12:28 — Tiffany Johnson and Dan Griebenow confront Murray in the hallway. Philip Crouse and Charlie Blanch follow.

12:29 — Blanch, who was shot in the leg, calls 911.

12:30 — Murray flees.

12:31 — A police officer arrives at YWAM.

12:45 — Arvada police notify the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

1:15 — Some 45 students and staff are taken to the police station to be interviewed.

1:25-1:27 — Murray called his father, Ronald Murray, to talk about a fight with a waitress at Applebee's. (This fight did not happen.)

Early morning hours — Six suspects are identified in the YWAM shootings, none of whom is Murray.

9 a.m. — Murray's mother, Loretta Murray, heads to church, leaving Matthew Murray at home. His father was in Arizona on a business trip.

9:14 — Ron Morris of King's Kids calls Arvada police, but the tip is assigned with an incorrect phone number.

9:38 — Tip is reassigned.

10 — A detective interviews Morris for 20 or 30 minutes. Murray is identified as a possible suspect.

10:03 — Murray posts "you Christians brought this on yourselves" from his computer.

10:19 — Murray leaves home for Colorado Springs.

10:50 — Morris provides detectives Murray's address and birth date.

10:50-10:52 — Murray leaves a message for Jennifer Cali, an acquaintance with the Gnostic group Ad Astra Oasis, to say "goodbye" and that he "is going to go out and do some crazy shit."

10:53 — Jacinda Treadway, a former YWAM member, calls Arvada police from Tennessee. She is transferred to tip line but leaves no message. (She calls back after New Life)

11:07 — Police request driver's license photo of Murray.

11:48 — The FBI leaves a message on the tip line about Web posting but without identifying information.

11:51 — Murray's photo is put in a photo lineup

12:13-12:16 p.m. — Murray talks to his father and agrees to pick him up at DIA. Murray is in Colorado Springs at this time.

12:16-12:45 — Murray is on the phone with Treadway. He ends the call abruptly, saying he is going to church.

12:35 — Witnesses do not identify Murray from a photo lineup.

1:10 — New Life shootings take place.

1:30 — Arvada's deputy police chief notifies detectives of the New Life shootings.

2:32 — Detectives get Murray's cellphone number from his post-office box. The service provider tells them that the phone has been turned off and can't be "pinged."

3:15 — Detectives arrive at Murray's home, and his parents contacted.

Afternoon — Arvada and Colorado Springs police begin a joint investigation.

Source: Arvada Police Department


Gunman came from 'good, grounded family'

RockyMountainNews.com

December 14, 2007

Junior high's not the best time in most people's lives, but Ron Murray had an advantage:

"Everybody liked him," said boyhood friend Jim Ulibarri. "Ron has the most contagious smile."

Murray loved basketball as a boy, but when the tall blond wanted to play in Chicano tournaments he had to bring his birth certificate to prove he was half Hispanic.

"We used to give him a hard time about it," Ulibarri said, with a laugh.

The two attended Lake Junior High in north Denver and later reunited at the University of Colorado. By then, Murray had married his high school sweetheart, Loretta, and had a baby girl, Cherise.

"Ron is just an incredible guy," Ulibarri said.

That sentiment would later be shared by the many patients, friends and co-workers Murray met through his church and medical practice, where he specializes in the treatment and research of multiple sclerosis.

Those same people have rallied this week around the Murray family after their son Matthew killed four people in shootings at Christian centers in Arvada and Colorado Springs.

In Internet rantings, Matthew talked of a stifling Christian upbringing filled with abuse — an accusation family friends staunchly deny.

"There are not kinder or gentler parents," said Casey Nikoloric, who is Murray's patient and has known the family for years.

She and others who know the family have declined to comment, saying the family wants to wait until all the victims' funerals have been held.

Many things are not known.

What kind of treatment did Ron and Loretta Murray seek for their son, who heard voices and had trouble fitting in? Was the family aware he had bought five guns in the past year? Did they have any inkling that their oldest boy would be capable of such violence?

This is known by the people who love and ache for the Murrays:

"This was a good, grounded family," said Karen Wenzel, executive director of the Rocky Mountain MS Center. "Ron is a pillar in the MS community. He's one of the most compassionate caregivers I've ever experienced."

Deeply religous family

Ronald Scott Murray was born in Denver in 1951. Loretta Jean Casados was born in New York in 1953 and later moved to Denver with her family.

The Casadoses lived in the 3900 block of Shoshone Street. Robert Quintana lived a house away from the Casadoses, a family he remembers as deeply religious.

"They used to come to the door and try to get us interested in their church," said Quintana, now 65.

He remembers Loretta as shy and quiet. He believes she attended North High School.

That's where the 6-feet-3 Murray played basketball and was a member of the "D" or letterman's club. He graduated in 1970.

The couple was married by a Denver County Court judge on Nov. 27. They lived with his mother, Dorothy, at West 26th Avenue and Lowell Boulevard.

Ulibarri, who had attended West High School, reunited with Murray when they went to CU. He said Loretta and their daughter would watch him play during basketball tournaments.

"Ron worked a lot," Ulibarri recalled. "He parked cars at the Commerce City dog track.

"I never saw him get upset, overly excited. I never saw him low. He always had a smile on his face."

Murray graduated in 1975 with a degree in chemistry, and then graduated from CU's medical school in 1980. Loretta Murray received her bachelor's in physical therapy in 1977, university records show.

They lived in Salt Lake City for five years, where Matthew was born in 1983. The family return to Colorado in 1986, the year Christopher was born.

The Murrays in 1986 moved into a four-bedroom in the Cherry Creek Vista neighorhood in unicorporated Arapahoe County. They still live on Berry Place.

"I have a wonderful wife and family and am involved in our church," Ron Murray told classmates in 1990 at his 20-year high school reunion. "I will be married 20 years this fall to my high school sweetheart, Loretta."

Loretta had quit work to be stay home with her children.

The boys were homeschooled with instructive materials from a strict religious group, the Illinois-based Institute in Basic Life Principles. Critics said the program is cultish and encourages corporal punishment, but president Bill Gothard said it is based on "how to love your neighbor as Christ loved us."

The family is active at Love Fellowship Church in Denver, where Phil Abeyta, Matthew's uncle, is a minister, and Lorreta Murray is in charge of the women's ministry.

Matthew left that church a couple of years ago. He was living at home at the time of the shootings, drifted in recent years, and was asked to leave several programs he attended.

His only companion seemed to be his computer keyboard, where he spent hours on anti-religious Web sites.

"All I found in christianity was hate, abuse (sexual, physical, psychological, and emotional), hypocrisy, and lies," he wrote.

As for his siblings, Christopher, 21, attends Oral Roberts University. Cherise, 37, who also went to Oral Roberts, is a stay-at home mom with two children.

"These are two well adjusted, grounded children," said Nikoloric, the family friend.

"And their parents have devoted their lives to helping others."

Helping MS patients

Murray is in private practice in Lone Tree, but has close ties to Englewood's Rocky Mountain MS Center, which assists people with multiple sclerosis.

A neurologist, he has been affiliated in some way or another with the center for 25 of its last 29 years, the director, Wenzel, said.He currently is serving as a consultant to help the center hire a medical director, he post he once held.

Loretta Murphy helped do fundraisers for the center, Wenzel said.

Ron Murray's colleagues and patients are effusive in the praise for a man who treated his patients long after their insurance ran out.

"I cannot say more fine words about Ron and his professionalism," said board member Cade Sibley.

Since the shootings, an outpouring of sympathy has flooded the center. Nikoloric also has been bombarded with calls and letters, including an e-mail from a 10-year-old boy.

Dear Dr. Murray, it began.

I wanted to e-mail you and tell you that I am sorry for your loss. I recently lost my mom to MS and want you to continue your research. I am happy that you have researched so much already. I want to be an MS researcher when I grow up. Please continue your research and serving God. I am praying for you.

Phillip

Sometime around 1999 or 2000, Ulibarri, Murray's childhood pal, became concerned about his daughter's headaches. She suffered from migraines after a car accident and ultimately died at age 25 from her injuries.

Ulibarri hadn't talked to his friend in years, but Murray immediately made an appointment to see his 22-year-old daughter.

Ulibarri discovered Murray was the same guy everybody liked in junior high.

"Same personality. And he had that smile," Ulibarri said. "My heart aches for Ron and his wife."


Church shooter wanted to be missionary

By Tom McGhee - The Denver Post

12/10/2007

Police describe a chaotic scene with smoke bombs going off outside the New Life Church moments before Matthew Murray began firing in a rampage that killed two and wounded three others Sunday.

Forensic evidence from the shooting at the church matches evidence found at Arvada's Youth with a Mission, a missionary training facility, scene of an earlier shooting spree that killed two others. Murray had once been enroleld there.

Police say Murray, 24, of Englewood, was the lone gunman in both cases.

At an afternoon press conference, police described the chaos at New Life Church that began at about 1:10 p.m. Sunday.

Smoke bombs went off near two entrances to the mega-church before Murray fired his first shots.

Then Murray, who was armed with clips for 1,000 rounds of ammunition, and two hand guns, began firing an assault rifle in an corner of the parking lot.

Sisters Stephanie, 18, and Rachael Works, 16, and their father, David Works, 51, were struck. Stephanie died at the scene, and her sister died later at Penrose Hospital.

Their father was wounded in the abdomen and groin.

Murray continued to spray bullets, hitting Judy Purcell, 40, in the shoulder and striking a number of vehicles.

Murray then made his way to the church's eastern entrance and fired several rounds through the doors. Larry Bourbannais, 59, was wounded.

Assam, who also spoke at a Colorado Springs press conference this afternoon, said she saw Murray coming through the doors, and took cover.

She then emerged and identified herself, "and I took him down." Assam fired as many as six rounds at Murray.

Assam said she was praying to the "Holy Spirit" during the confrontation.

It is not known if Assam's rounds killed Murray, said Colorado Springs police Sgt. Jeff Jensen. "She definitely wounded him but we don't know if she was the cause of the fatal wound. We don't know if there was a self-inflicted gunshot wound as well."

Police found three weapons - the assault rifle, and two pistols, along with a backpack he carried containing ammo in clips.

The shootings after a service at the mega-church Sunday afternoon 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. Murray asked the staff to stay at the residence on the Faith Bible Chapel campus before the shootings.

When Tiffany Johnson, 26, the hospitality director, told him he wouldn't be able to spend the night, he began shooting.

Johnson and the other staffers were going to suggest alternative places for him to stay before they were gunned down, Cheryl Morrison, wife of Faith Bible Chapel's senior pastor said.

Johnson and Philip Crouse, 24, died after being taken to area hospitals. Dan Griebenow, 24 and Charlie Blanch, 22, were wounded.

Murray participated in a Youth With a Mission training program 5 years ago but his health barred him from doing field work and going further with the program, YWaM director Peter Warren said at a separate press conference in Arvada.

In the past few weeks, he sent string of messages expressing his discontent about the program to the program and its director, authorities said.

Earlier today, a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity said it appeared Murray "hated Christians."

Murray is the son of a local neurologist who is a prominent researcher on multiple sclerosis.

Investigators, including a bomb squad, searched a home on East Berry Place in Arapahoe County on Sunday night, Murray's last known address.

In 1990, Murray was registered as a home-schooled student 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 of him.

Murray has something in common with the Works sisters who died at New Life. They too were home-schooled.

Murray's later school history indicates a young man adrift. He attended Arapahoe Community College for a while, then quit. Last year he enrolled for a class at Colorado Christian University but dropped out immediately after enrolling.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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