2 suspects arrested in shooting of Latter-day Saint missionary in Alabama meetinghouse

Elder Michael Fauber, 18, remains in stable but serious
condition after he was shot five times on Dec. 3 in a Latter-day
Saint meetinghouse. U.S. marshals arrested a suspect, Courtney Lee
Knight, 18, on Tuesday on a warrant for attempted murder.

Elder Michael Fauber, 18, remains in stable but serious condition after he was shot five times on Dec. 3 in a Latter-day Saint meetinghouse. U.S. marshals arrested a suspect, Courtney Lee Knight, 18, on Tuesday on a warrant for attempted murder. (Fauber family)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — U.S. marshals arrested an 18-year-old man Tuesday for allegedly shooting an 18-year-old missionary five times in an Alabama meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The marshals arrested Courtney Lee Knight after the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office issued a warrant for him for attempted murder in the shooting of Elder M. Michael Fauber, 18, of Dayton, Ohio.

Knight is being held in the Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham on a $60,000 bond, according to a news release issued by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

They also arrested a second man, Cornelius Omar-James Knight, 22, for hindering the investigation, the news release said. He is being held in the county jail on a $15,000 bond.

Fauber was struck by five bullets at about 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 3, when he and two other missionaries and some people interested in learning more about the church were playing basketball in the Birmingham Stake Center in Vestavia Hills in unincorporated Jefferson County. Police said an unknown man entered the building and spoke with Fauber. Moments later, the man shot Fauber and fled.

Fauber has been in serious but stable condition while slowly improving, according to the latest updates from the family and the church. His parents have said their son had three surgeries. Two bullets struck him in the right side of the chest. One grazed his head.

"Thankfully, the victim's condition is improving and he is expected to recover from his injuries," the sheriff's office news release said.

Courtney Lee Knight, 18, was arrested by U.S. marshals
on Tuesday. The Jefferson County (Alabama) District
Attorney’s Office issued a warrant for Knight’s arrest for
attempted murder in connection with the Dec. 3 shooting of Elder
Michael Fauber, a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints.
Courtney Lee Knight, 18, was arrested by U.S. marshals on Tuesday. The Jefferson County (Alabama) District Attorney’s Office issued a warrant for Knight’s arrest for attempted murder in connection with the Dec. 3 shooting of Elder Michael Fauber, a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Photo: Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office)

Law enforcement officials initially said the suspect left the scene in a vehicle and described him as a Black male with a light complexion, about 6-foot-7 and skinny. He was believed to be in his mid-20s, David Agee, deputy chief of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, had told reporters in a press conference last week, according to Al.com.

The sheriff's office said its detectives identified a suspect on Thursday in conjunction with the Metro Area Crime Center.

Cornelius Omar-James Knight, 22, is being held in the
Jefferson County, Alabama, jail on a warrant for allegedly
hindering the investigation of the Dec. 3 shooting of Elder Michael
Fauber in Alabama.
Cornelius Omar-James Knight, 22, is being held in the Jefferson County, Alabama, jail on a warrant for allegedly hindering the investigation of the Dec. 3 shooting of Elder Michael Fauber in Alabama. (Photo: Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office)

"Our detectives worked tirelessly to develop the information from what initially seemed to be a needle in a haystack," the news release said. "Through collaborative efforts with the U.S. Marshal's Service, the community and other law enforcement agencies, they were able to solve this unwarranted attack on a blameless person. Our agency is extremely proud of the efforts by all those involved in helping to bring this case to a close."

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Tad Walch

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