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Gunman at Hill Cumorah fires 22 shots, no one injured at Latter-day Saint visitors' center

A shooter fired as many as two dozen rounds from a treeline, twice striking the Hill Cumorah Visitors' Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Manchester, New York, on Wednesday afternoon, the Finger Lakes Times reported.

A shooter fired as many as two dozen rounds from a treeline, twice striking the Hill Cumorah Visitors' Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Manchester, New York, on Wednesday afternoon, the Finger Lakes Times reported. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — A shooter fired as many as two dozen rounds from a treeline, twice striking the Hill Cumorah Visitors' Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Manchester, New York, on Wednesday afternoon, the Finger Lakes Times reported.

About 80 people were at the visitors' center at the time of the shooting, according to the report. The news outlet said the gunfire triggered a massive police response, including a SWAT team, but the shooter had not been found.

New York State Police said one round hit the center, and one person was taken into custody late Wednesday, but the person's "intent does not seem to be ill intent," channel News 8 WROC reported. It was not immediately clear if that person was the original gunman.

Ontario County sheriff's officials said more than 22 shots were fired at the building, according to police radio traffic, the Times reported.

New York State Police has jurisdiction over the incident.

"This afternoon, several shots were fired at or near the Hill Cumorah Visitors' Center in Palmyra, New York," church spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a statement. "Gratefully, no injuries have been reported. At this hour, there is little information available. Inquiries about details should be directed to local law enforcement."

The Hill Cumorah Visitors’ Center, where reports say someone fired 22 bullets from a treeline and struck the building at least twice during visiting hours while several dozen people were present on Wednesday.
The Hill Cumorah Visitors’ Center, where reports say someone fired 22 bullets from a treeline and struck the building at least twice during visiting hours while several dozen people were present on Wednesday. (Photo: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

Hill Cumorah is the place where Joseph Smith met annually with the angel Moroni from 1823 to 1827. The first president and prophet of the church said the angel allowed him to obtain the golden plates from which the Book of Mormon would be translated on Sept. 22, 1827.

A monument at the top of the hill commemorates the events that took place there.

The statue of the angel Moroni on Hill Cumorah in Manchester, New York, were a gunman fired 22 bullets on Wednesday. Two of the bullets struck the visitors’ center, according to early reports.
The statue of the angel Moroni on Hill Cumorah in Manchester, New York, were a gunman fired 22 bullets on Wednesday. Two of the bullets struck the visitors’ center, according to early reports. (Photo: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

News media outlets gathered at the scene and some reporters tweeted out photos and video.

One woman told East Idaho News that she was at the visitors' center when the shooting took place and that there was a busload of 100 children one the sprawling grounds of around the visitors' center on a tour.

Another person said on Twitter that his daughter was serving the first day of her mission on at the visitors' center today. He said the visitors' inside the center knelt and prayed together.

The Hill Cumorah is about three miles from the Smith family home and the Sacred Grove, where Joseph Smith reported that God the Father and Jesus Christ visited him in 1820.

Contributing: Ashley Imlay, KSL.com

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsU.S.UtahReligion
Tad Walch
Tad Walch covers The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has filed news stories from five continents and reported from the Olympics, the NBA Finals and the Vatican. Tad grew up in Massachusetts and Washington state, loves the Boston Red Sox and coaches fastpitch softball.

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