Colorado shooter was baptized into LDS faith

Colorado shooter was baptized into LDS faith

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Sarah Dallof reporting KSL News has learned the man who went on a shooting rampage at two Colorado church properties had been baptized into the LDS Church a year ago.

Matthew Murray killed four people and wounded several others Sunday, before he turned the gun on himself. He targeted people at two Christian churches, posting anti-religion messages online before the shootings. But a year ago, he welcomed religion in his life, according to one man who taught Murray about the Latter-day Saint faith.

Colorado shooter was baptized into LDS faith

A.J. Ormond was there the day Matthew Murray was baptized. He says he immediately noticed a change; Murray seemed happy, calm, at peace. It was a demeanor that changed dramatically in just a year.

"He seemed like a normal person, maybe a little sheltered." That's how A.J. Ormond remembers Matthew Murray, the man police say shot and killed two at a Youth with Mission Center in Arvada, then two sisters at a New Life Church in Colorado Springs 12 hours later.

Before the attacks, he posted hate-filled messages online like "You Christians brought this on yourselves," and "All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you... as I can."

"I think everybody goes through 'Is there anything I could have done? Anything?'", Ormond said.

Ormond met Murray in November 2006 in Colorado. Murray wanted to learn more about the LDS church. Ormond and his wife worked with the missionaries in their ward.

"I think he was interested in learning about all religions, trying to figure out what fit him and his beliefs and finding somewhere where he could fit in," Ormond said.

Ormond describes Murray as polite and friendly, a young man who, despite his family's protests, was seriously contemplating devoting his life to the LDS Church. Murray's experience with the LDS Church culminated with his baptism. Soon after, he stopped going to church; and just a little over a year later, Murray was dead from a self-inflicted gunshot to his head following a shootout with a security guard.

The photos of him splashed on TV were easily recognizable to Ormond; his motives, though, a mystery. Ormond said, "It was obvious that it wasn't the person we had known that had committed those shootings and those murders."

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement saying, "We checked our records, and they confirm that Matthew Murray of Englewood, Colorado, was baptized about a year ago."

Beyond that, the church said it would have no comment.

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