12 hours later and 65 miles away in Colorado Springs, a gunman used some type of a rifle to shoot a parishioner and wound four other people at New Life Church before a volunteer security guard killed him. New Life Church is the mega church founded by Rev. Ted Haggard who was forced to leave the church last year after it was revealed that he had a three year sexual relationship with a male prostitute.
Staff members of the youth center, Tiffany Johnson and Philip Crouse were killed at the center. Dan Griebenow (24) and Charlie Branch (22) were wounded. Tiffany Johnson, 26, was the center's director of hospitality. Crouse was 24 and lived in Alaska.
One of the hospitalized victims from the second attack died Sunday at about 10:10 p.m., said Amy Sufak, a spokeswoman for Penrose Community Hospital in Colorado Springs.
The two shootings may be related. No one had been captured in the Arvada shootings. Authorities were searching a home in suburban Englewood that they said could be related to the Colorado Springs shooting case. "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.
Colorado Springs Police Chief Richard Myers was investigating the relationship if any between the two shootings. "There was a courageous staff member who probably saved many lives here today," Myers said. Gov. Bill Ritter ordered prompt investigation. Of unknown significance is that Officers found several smoke-generating devices on the New Life church campus according to Chief Myers. No one has revealed who put the devices there or their intended purpose. New Life is one of Colorado's largest churches with over 10,000 members.
The connection between the two facilities? The mission training program in Arvada does have a small office on the Colorado Springs church campus of New Life. About 7,000 people were on the Colorado Springs campus at the time of the shooting according to Senior Pastor Brady Boyd.
Witnesses told police that the gunman was a 20-year-old white male, wearing a dark jacket and skull cap, who had a handgun and left on foot. He may have glasses or a beard. Arvada police said a dark-jacketed man with a beard, glasses and skullcap entered Youth With a Mission. A black-clad gunman with a high powered rifle was described as the shooter at New Life Church. Wittinesses' accounts of a black-clad gunman are similar to the description issued by Arvada police.
The insanity must be stopped. Now is the time to exercise our constitutional rights to bear arms. Armed private security guards are needed at places where people gather in order to minimize such tragedies. At New Life, the gunman was killed relatively quickly. By improving response time by employing armed guards, the shooters wish to commit suicide can be granted more swiftly, potentially saving the lives of many victims. Legal Pub suggested the same solution back at the time of the Virginia Tech shootings. Now it is time to strike back at crime.
Update: Rachel Works (16 ) and Stephanie Works (18 ) are identified as victims at the New Life shooting. A female security guard killed the shooter.