On December 9, Matthew Murray shot and killed Tiffany Johnson, 26, and Philip Crouse, 24, at a YWAM training center in Arvada, a Denver suburb. He later killed two at New Life Church in Colorado Springs. About 900 people attended the funeral for Johnson last week.
Despite the deaths, Youth With a Mission (YWAM) is on track with its missions training program. Training for missions will begin once again in January, and not one of the 120 who signed up has dropped out of the program. Director of the Arvada YWAM Peter Warren spoke with Christianity Today about the shooting, the response, and the future of YWAM.
Can you describe what happened the night of the shooting?
Matthew was in the building for half an hour talking with students, and then he asked to spend the night. Tiffany was called to the front because she handles hospitality. Normally, we would not have someone spend the night without knowing them or arranging ahead of time. After that, Matthew said, "Then this is what I've got for you," pulled out a gun and began shooting.
After firing a few shots, he had his foot in the door, and at some point his foot slipped and he fell back. The door slammed shut on him and automatically locked so he could not get back in again. Right then, other staff and students were driving up and saw Matthew banging on the door, trying to get back in. When Matthew saw them, he ran away.
After another student performed CPR on Tiffany, she regained consciousness and asked Holly, "Is it bad?" Holly said, "Yes it's bad." Tiffany looked at Holly and her boyfriend, Dan, who was also shot, and said, "We do this for Jesus, right guys? We do this for Jesus."
How are the students in YWAM responding to the shooting? Some who came running and saw their ...1