UPDATE: Gunman Identified
I can only hope that this is not a Jewish man. When I heard about this early in the morning, before they released the description of the man wearing a “skullcap,” I worried that it would turn out to be a Jew.
Missionaries may have pushed someone over the edge. I hope not.
Two Dead, Two Wounded, After Gunman Opens Fire Inside Colorado Christian Missionary Center
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Dec. 9: The dormitory on the campus of Faith Bible Church in Arvada, Colo., where a gunman killed two people and wounded two othersa Sunday morning.
A manhunt was underway in Colorado Sunday for a gunman who opened fire inside a Christian missionary training facility near Denver, killing two people and wounding two others, before fleeing on foot.
The shooter entered a dormitory on the campus of Youth with a Mission, a training facility for Christian missionaries, in Arvada, Colo., a Denver suburb, at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday. Two people were killed and two were wounded and being treated at local hospitals.
The gunman, described by witnesses as a white male in his twenties with a beard and eye glasses, wearing a dark skull cap and jacket, remained at large, Arvada Police spokeswoman Susan Medina told Fox News.
Authorities were warning area residents Sunday through reverse 911 that an armed and dangerous gunman was on the loose and to stay inside. They were also asking residents to report any sightings of fresh footprints or disturbances in the snow to police. About four inches of snow had fallen overnight.
By late morning, police did not have clues into the shooter's identity and did not have a motive for the shooting.
A search of the area, both by canine and patrol officer units, had failed to locate the suspect, Medina said. Medina said the search area was quite large, a mix of residences and businesses. Police were hoping that the shooter had left tracks in a fresh layer of snow and that the snow would lead them to the suspect, Medina said.
About 50 people were inside the center at the time of the shooting, Medina said. The 45 people remaining at the center were moved to an off site facility for questioning.
A man and a woman in their mid-20s died, and two men ages 22 and 23 were wounded, Medina said. One of the injured men was in critical condition, said Paul Filidis, a Colorado Springs-based spokesman with Youth With a Mission.
All four of the victims were staff members, Filidis said.
"There's no blueprint for this, we're just going to be honest and pray for one another, cry with one another," center director Peter Warren told KUSA-TV. "Who knows what was going on in this young man's life."
Mimi Martin, who lives near the center, said she received the warning call at about 9 a.m. warning neighbors to keep their doors and windows locked.
"Why would anybody want to hurt those kids?" Martin said. "I just pray for their families."
The dormitory is on the campus of the Faith Bible Chapel. People bundled up against freezing cold arrived for Sunday services at the sanctuary, about 300 yards from the dormitory. Darv Smith, director of a Youth With a Mission center in Boulder, said people ranging from their late teens to their 70s undergo a 12-week discipleship course that prepares them to be missionaries.
He said the center trains about 300 people a year.
Youth With a Mission was started in 1960 and now has 1,100 locations with 16,000 full-time staff, Smith said. The Arvada center was founded in 1984.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.