Jump directly to the content

Church Shooter's Parents Speak of Son's Agony

Radio program broadcasts more details about Matthew Murray who killed four people on two church grounds.

The parents of the man who shot and killed four people on two Colorado church grounds in December spoke about their son for a radio broadcast that aired today.

The Associated Press reports that the shooter, Matthew Murray, had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and was bitter for being an outcast, but he gave no indication of his violent plans.

The parents spoke in an interview to be broadcast today and Friday on James Dobson's Focus on the Family radio program.

Murray, 24, killed two people and wounded two at a YWAM training center on the grounds of Faith Bible Chapel in a Denver suburb. Murray then slept in his own bed at his parent's house; 12 hours later and 60 miles away, he killed two sisters in the parking lot New Life Church in Colorado Springs before he killed himself.

According to the AP, Loretta Murray said her son called his cousin in Utah shortly before the training center shooting, "pouring out his heart" about how depressed and lonely he was.

The cousin called Loretta Murray just before midnight to tell her about Matthew's emotional state and she asked her husband to call him, the AP writes. Matthew told his father on his cell phone at 1:15 a.m. that he was eating at a restaurant with friends and was coming home. He had just shot and killed two people at YWAM.

Matthew appeared fine the next morning, and his mother told him to be careful driving in the snow, according to the AP. The same morning he shot two sisters and their father at New Life.

The AP reports that Murray dabbled in the occult, briefly joined the Mormon church and turned against charismatic Christianity. The Murrays said on the show that their son felt rejected and was unable to forgive people who he believed to be tormentors.

"The lesson is that unforgiveness leads to this bitterness and then opens you up to the spirit of Satan, to the spirit of whatever, and when that occurs, it becomes a power that people cannot control," said Ronald Murray, a neurologist.

Murray said that neither he nor Loretta Murray knew he owned weapons and that his son "had never expressed a desire for violence toward anybody."

On the program, the Murrays met David and Marie Works, the parents of two sisters who their son had killed.

David Works said on the program that forgiveness was simply part of the Christian walk.

"Without forgiveness," Ronald Murray said, "I don't think we could have moved on."

Previous CT coverage includes:

Five killed in New Life Church, YWAM center attacks | Police think two separate shootings may be related.

Arming in the Aftermath | Shooting spree at two churches prompts pastors to rethink security plans.

Securing the Faithful | What New Life Church did right when a gunman showed up in its parking lot.

Related Topics:None
Posted:February 28, 2008 at 9:24AM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.

Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article.
Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.
Recent Posts
New Poverty-Fighting Alliance Launches
World Relief, Germany-based PartnerAid combine to grow programs, donor base.
Bible Society Takes 'More Accurate and Hopeful' Stance on Scripture Skeptics
(UPDATED) No more 'Bible antagonists,' among many findings in this year's ABS/Barna 'State of the Bible' report.
Popular Pastor Resigns after 'Moral Failure,' But Followers Still Want His Sermons
Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale explains why it took down Bob Coy's teachings on marriage.
Crimea Adoptions to Americans Blocked by Russia
(UPDATED) Ukraine has replaced Russia as No. 3 source of U.S. adoptions. But Crimea crisis has Christian alliance preparing evacuation plan for 4,000 orphans.