Gunman kills 2 at Youth With A Mission missionary training center

(CNN) — A gunman opened fire Sunday in a training center for young Christian missionaries outside Denver, Colorado, killing two people and wounding two others, police said.

A gunman entered the dormitory in Arvada, Colorado, early Sunday.

The lone gunman walked into Youth with a Mission, began shooting and then ran away, according to a Susan Medina of the Arvada Police Department.

Peter Warren, the center’s co-founder, said a man and a woman were killed. He said the woman was from Minnesota and the man was from Alaska. He did not provide their ages.

“These kids were like our kids, you know?” he told CNN affiliate KUSA. “It’s just such a tragedy.”

He said a memorial service for the two would likely be held Tuesday or Wednesday.

One person remained in critical condition, according to Peter Iliyn, the regional director for Youth With a Mission. He did not give information regarding the fourth person wounded in the attack.

The names of the victims were being withheld pending notification of family members, police said.

The gunman was described as a white male, about 20 years old, said Medina. He may be wearing glasses and a dark skull cap or beanie. He also may be sporting a beard or mustache, she said.

Police were using dogs in their search efforts and were hoping the fresh snow outside the building may help them track the suspect, Medina said.

It was unclear how many of those shot were staff members and students, Medina said.

Those not wounded were transported to an off-site location where police are interviewing them, she said.

About 45 people were in the building at the time of the shooting, she said.

The center is home to dozens of young people from all over the world who are training to be Christian missionaries, according to the center’s Web site.

A “reverse 911” call went out to residents of the neighborhood to let them know a shooting suspect might be in the area, she said.

Medina urged residents to call police if they spot anything suspicious.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Sunday December 9, 2007.
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