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Thursday, December 20, 2007                                                                                       View Comments

Gunman admired Ted Haggard

Raise up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old...

DENVER -- Among the items taken from a search of gunman Matthew Murray's home was a picture of former New Life pastor Ted Haggard, according to police documents released Wednesday.

Murray lived in the Englewood home in with his father, mother and brother. The family was very devout and the parents had home-schooled both children, neighbors said.

According to the police documents, officers confiscated a Beretta, ammunition, a pamphlet entitled "Fall of America," literature on Youth With A Mission, a Bible, a journal, a pistol, a homicide investigation manual, prescription pills, several hard drives, gun cases and boxes of ammunition.

In several online writings, posted weeks before the two deadly church shootings, Murray expressed his rage at organized religion and at Youth With A Mission, which had kicked him out of a missionary program for unspecified "health reasons."

Murray wrote that he would rain Columbine down on the Christian world. He came "armed to the teeth," as he promised, bringing an assault rifle, two handguns and 1,000 rounds of ammunition when he walked into New Life Church.

He also wrote that Haggard was his mother's favorite pastor and in a post about four hours before the shootings at New Life, he wrote that Christianity to him was "hate, abuse (sexual, physical, psychological, and emotional), hypocrisy, and lies."

Haggard is the former pastor at the New Life megachurch and was forced to step down last year after he admitted to "sexual immorality." A former male escort claimed that Haggard had paid him for sex and meth over the course of three years.

Nine people were shot in the two church shootings on Dec. 9; five at New Life Church in Colorado Springs and four at the Youth With a Mission training center in Arvada.

Stephanie Works and her sister Rachael Works were killed at New Life Church. Their father, David Works, churchgoer Judy Purcell and Larry Bourbannais were hurt.

In Arvada, missionaries Philip Crouse and Tiffany Johnson were killed. Johnson's boyfriend, Dan Grievenow, and Charles Blanch were injured.

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CHURCH SHOOTINGS
NEW LIFE CHURCH
YOUTH WITH A MISSION