Church Shooter's Parents Speak of Son's Agony
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.
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.