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The Colorado Shootings

Dateline December 9th 2007 ..........

A report in USA Today actually gave space to mention how a legally armed security lady was able to limit the mayhem at the second shooting site. Read the report on the USA Today web site or if that is eventually unavailable - read the copy below.


COLORADO SPRINGS — Police searched a home in suburban Englewood early Monday, seeking any link between two deadly shooting sprees at Christian religious centers that left both communities stunned on a day of worship.
Authorities were looking into whether a gunman in a black trench coat who was shot dead by a female security guard at a church here Sunday was the man who killed two people at a missionary center earlier in the day.

Stephanie Works, 18, and Rachel Works, 16, were killed.

David Works, 51, was in fair condition with gunshot wounds to the abdomen and groin area. Police did not describe how the three were related.

Also injured were Judy Purcell, 40, who suffered a gunshot wound to her right shoulder, and Larry Bourbannais, 59, who had a gunshot wound in his left forearm, police said. Both were treated and released.

Arvada Police Chief Don Wick, asked whether he believed there was reason to think the shootings are related, responded, "Yes, there is reason to believe that."

Authorities early Monday could be seen coming and going from the Englewood home, about 15 miles south of Denver. At one point they searched the bushes in front.

Also monday at a press conference in Colorado Springs, pastor Brady Boyd of the New Life Church said the security guard who shot the gunman was purposely stationed in the lobby of the church after hearing about the earlier shooting.

When the shots were fired "she rushed toward the attacker and took him down in the hallway," he said.

The attacker never got more than 50 feet inside the building.

"She probably saved over 100 lives," Boyd said.

He described her as a highly trained volunteer member of the church with a law enforcement background whose role was to provide security.He said she was not wearing a uniform and is licensed to carry a gun.

Boyd said the shooting was random and that the gunman had no conenction to the church.

He said the church has had a security plan in place for many years which includes the evacuation plan it used on Sunday.

People were taken to designated holding areas with security officers.

Late Sunday, Arvada police helped Colorado Springs serve a search warrant at a home in Englewood. "Colorado Springs has identified its suspect, and we're there to see whether their suspect and ours are the same," said Arvada Deputy Police Chief Gary Creagor.

A gunman shot four people — killing two — just after midnight at the Youth With a Mission in Arvada, outside Denver, after he was told he could not stay the night, Wick said.

Twelve hours later and 80 miles away, a man walked into the New Life Church in Colorado Springs about 1 p.m. with a rifle and killed one parishioner and injured four others before he was shot dead by the church security guard, Colorado Springs Police Chief Richard Myers said.

There were indications the shooter may have been preparing for a siege, police said. After being told of several suspicious packages around the church police spent the afternoon searching three large buildings on the New Life campus using a bomb-sniffing robot.

Myers said they found no explosives but several "smoke generating devices" scattered throughout the complex. He said they indicated that the incident "could've been much worse than it was."

Ashley Gibbs, 19, and her boyfriend were walking across a parking lot following the afternoon service at New Life Church when they heard what they thought was someone chipping ice off a windshield. She then saw a puff of snow fly up from the ground and a man in a black trench coat carrying "a big gun."

"That's when we panicked and started praying," Gibbs said.

Myers did not identify the victims in Colorado Springs. In Arvada, the dead victims were Tiffany Johnson, 26, of Minnesota, and Philip Crouse, 24, of Alaska. Two people were injured in Arvada, police said.

The two religious facilities are connected somewhat in that the missionary center in Arvada has a small office at the church's World Prayer Center.

"Our church has gone through difficult times in the past," Boyd said, referring to a scandal that caused his predecessor, New Life founder Ted Haggard, to resign last year. "The church will survive and do well."

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