BREAKING: The Latest on The Church Attacks

update 12/10/2007 @ 8:58am

Waking up to not much more detail. I don’t expect much until the late afternoon/evening hours. 850KOA is reporting the dead at Colorado Springs were both family. A 16 year old and a 18 year old, both sisters. Their father was one of the injured, according to KOA. The names I heard on the radio are Stephanie Works and Rachel Works. The church site is still an active crime scene. Don’t expect to see much here as I’ve got to work all day today. Best sources on this story will be and The Gazette.

12:48am: I’m headed to bed and hope that tomorrow brings a new day. Good night Denver…and may God Bless and comfort those who have lost loved ones. Amen.

Updated 12:12am. Colorado Springs Gazette is reporting 2 parishioners dead. Unsure, but going to post it due to its a news source.

About 7,000 New Life Church members were spilling into the parking lot after Sunday services when a gunman fired into the crowd, killing two and wounding three, in a crime that police linked to an attack on a missionary dormitory near Denver.

11:35 Mountain: Updated with react links.
Michelle Malkin

updated 11:38pm
Slapstick Politics has a solid rundown with new details.

By Sunday evening, investigators in the two cities believed they might be linked. “There is a reason to believe that,” Arvada Police Chief Don Wick said, but he would not elaborate. “Those are leads we’re following up,” he said.

Ladies and gentlemen…our city, our state is hurting.

I don’t say this to jump the shark or blow things out of proportion. I say this honestly and with a heavy heart. Today things changed for The Church in Colorado. Be you small, medium or mega. Today we found out just how quick the world can change on us. The latest is as follows. With thanks to 9News, YahooNews and countless blogs.

COLORADO SPRINGS – Authorities say six people, including the gunman, were shot Sunday in the second shooting of the day at a Colorado religious center. The gunfire erupted inside the 10,000-plus member mega-church, New Life Church, just after 1 p.m., according to authorities.

KOAA says the gunman opened fire in the foyer of New Life Church, located at 11025 Voyager Parkway in Colorado Springs, as the 11 a.m. service was getting out. Authorities say the shooting occurred outside of the church. Colorado Springs Police Chief Richard Myers confirmed at a 5:40 p.m. press briefing that a church security guard shot and killed the gunman. Myers says one other person died at the scene. 9NEWS has confirmed the victim was a teenage girl.

Of the four additional shooting victims, one was treated and released at the scene and three were taken to a local hospital, Myers said. At a 10 p.m. briefing, Myers said two of the victims were still hospitalized. One was listed in fair condition and one was in critical condition.

SWAT officers searching the New Life campus found several suspicious devices. Myers said they were conducting a second search Sunday evening. Police are not releasing any information about what kind of weapon was used in the attack. 9NEWS has learned the gunman was dressed with a tactical helmet and body armor.

Just now, this broke across the wires,

ARAPAHOE COUNTY – Between 15 and 20 investigators were inside a home in unincorporated Arapahoe County Sunday night, after the Arvada Police Department obtained a search warrant. The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office is assisting. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the FBI are on the scene. The Arapahoe County Bomb Squad arrived shortly before 10 p.m. As of 10 p.m. Sunday, investigators were taking boxes out of the house. The Colorado Springs Police Department is taking over the investigation.

Two people who are believed to be the homeowners left with sheriff’s deputies around 9 p.m. Because police have not confirmed that the warrant is related to Sunday’s shootings in Colorado Springs and Arvada, 9NEWS is not identifying the owners or address of the house. 9Wants to Know did call a business owned by one of the homeowners. A voicemail recording said the business would be closed for a week because of a “family emergency.”

Earlier today, a first attack occurred in the story you’ve already heard. The following lost their lives.


Paul Filidis of YWAM Colorado Springs says Tiffany Johnson and 24-year-old Philip Crouse of Alaska, were killed. He says their families have been notified and are on their way to Colorado.

Injured are the following,

According to Filidis and Warren, the third victim, 24-year-old Dan Griebenow of South Dakota, has a bullet in his neck and is listed in critical but stable condition. Griebenow joined the staff in the winter of 2007, according to YWAM’s Web site. Filidis says the fourth victim, 22-year-old Charlie Blanch, suffered gunshot wounds to his leg. Blanch has been a staff member of YWAM since the fall of 2006, according to their Web site.

My prayers, thoughts and hopes go out the families of those affected. Today represents a terrible day that has played out from nightmare to nightmare in just 12 short hours. I know that Sunday at my church in Longmont will be different. I’ve reached out to my Children’s Pastor and requested that we have at the ready on Sunday Fathers to act as “Security Dads” to ensure everyone is where they are supposed to be. We’ve actually been planning this idea for some time but now today’s events require us to quickly take action.

It only takes once to change the way we are. And today has shown us this in a terrifying, horrible and dark way.

I’ll do my best to update, but I work a lot this week. Please update in the comments if you have anything new and I (or another Denver author) will bring the information forward.

1 Comment so far

  1. Not Soandso (unregistered) on December 10th, 2007 @ 7:59 am

    These killers reflect a bigger issue with how we deal with, or hide from the mental health issues in our Country & State. This is not about guns or God, the lack of a God, it’s about the mentally ill. We saw it in the Hillary bomb threat last week, the Colorado Church shootings and the Virginia Tech campus shootings. On and on these events go and treatment for mental health is not even a Presidential campaign issue. Perhaps some of your readers have some thoughts on how to solve or at least get help to these people since our Political leadership is clueless in this area. In California the mental health care system went away in the 80’s during Republican budget cuts, combined with the Democrats protecting privacy issues. Now people with mental health issues cannot get assistance. Many other states have cut there mental health programs or never had them. In California the police can pick people up (it’s called 5150), and hold them for 72 hours, but they are often out of custody without getting any help, before the officer can finish the paperwork. Because of privacy rules when someone is 5150’d even family members cannot get information nor suggest further treatment during the 72 hour hold time. Can you imagine there are people that have been 5150’d hundreds of times over a 10 year period and never received help?

    This time the mentally ill intruded into people lives and ended them, and perhaps will bring the issue of the mentally ill out for a few minutes only to be shoved aside by more important things like Paris Hilton claiming to read the bible, or reports of Britney Spears running a stop sign. If you think it’s a leap to say homelessness and mental health go hand in hand it’s not. True not all of the homeless have mental issues but one needs only to look at your local homeless scene to know mental health plays a huge role.

    The homeless are a fact of life throughout the state and nation. Few people realize how many live among us. Just walk along the edge of your local park’s trails, along creeks and look under the bridges. Look for well worn foot paths that lead to hidden encampments. The area often has abandoned shopping carts and disassembled bikes (read probably parts of stolen bikes from the area) which are a pretty good indication of the presence of the homeless. Often you will hear the voices of the homeless from these areas.

    The system to help is broken. It is a matter of money and votes, and these people do not have any money or votes, nor are they represented by anyone that cares enough. Perhaps if there was a profit in caring for the people with mental health issues, this could be fixed. Just the stigma of the mental health label has people turning away and not wanting to do something. Again our candidates are ignoring the issue. The people we elect to fix this see no reason to tackle this because there are few votes from this group. Again perhaps some of your readers will have some thoughts on getting the elected officials to put a workable program in place. Sorry I lost it for a second ….. thinking elected officials will actually do something other than posture to get re-elected.

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