Gunman killed himself after being shot

DENVER — The gunman who killed four people in shooting rampages at two Colorado religious institutions committed suicide after he was shot by a church security guard, police said Tuesday.

An autopsy showed that Matthew Murray, 24, died of a self-inflicted wound after being shot several times Sunday by volunteer security guard Jeanne Assam at New Life Church in Colorado Springs.

Assam, a former Minneapolis police officer, confronted Murray as he burst into the foyer after fatally shooting two teenage girls in the church parking lot. Authorities have credited Assam for saving untold lives because Murray was armed with three guns and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

Minneapolis newspapers reported Tuesday that Assam had been dismissed from the department in 1997 for lying to investigators about her use of profanity in an argument with a bus driver.

Also Tuesday, a website aimed at people who have left Pentecostal and charismatic churches reported that Murray may have posted violent statements on its online forum between the two shootings.

Murray’s first attack occurred at 12:30 a.m. Sunday, when he killed two staffers at a missionary school in Arvada, Colo., that had expelled him. The attack at New Life happened about 1:10 p.m.

The rambling postings quote liberally from dark rock songs and were written by a user called nghtmrchld26, who complained about his time at Youth With a Mission in Arvada.

“Thank you to all you christians who’ve made me this way . . . I’m just so full of hate now and I love it,” the poster wrote at 4:07 a.m. “Forcing all your religious [expletive] down my throat all these [expletive] years with your dominionist christian agenda . . . well . . . the abuse ends NOW . . . give me one good reason why I should show ANY mercy and compassion for ANY of you idiots.”

In his final sequence, posted at 10:55 a.m., nghtmrchld26 quotes verbatim from a manifesto left by one of the two Columbine killers, inserting the term “Christians” for the person those shooters targeted.

Other participants on the forum were alarmed and called the FBI when they saw the statements, said Joe Istre, the site’s administrator.

Susan Medina, a spokeswoman for the Arvada Police Department, said authorities were inspecting a computer seized from Murray’s home to determine whether he was nghtmrchld26.

Murray, who was home-schooled, lived in the affluent suburb of Englewood with his parents and brother — a student at Oral Roberts University. His father, Dr. Ronald Murray, is a prominent neurologist.

In the online postings, nghtmrchld26 complains about being raised in a strict, religious home and constantly being offered psychiatric help.

In 2002, Matthew Murray enrolled in a three-month training program with Youth With a Mission’s Arvada branch, but he was expelled from the program for undisclosed “health” reasons, officials there have said.

On Tuesday, Murray’s former roommate, Richard Werner, who lives in Brazil, told CNN that Murray would carry on conversations with “voices” in his head. Murray also startled his classmates by performing dark songs by Marilyn Manson and Linkin Park at a Christmas concert at the school.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday December 12, 2007.
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