18 church shootings in 11 years (A comprehensive list)

This is a discussion on 18 church shootings in 11 years (A comprehensive list) within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Got this off of a Front Sight email. Virginia requires "good and sufficient reason" to carry in church. This ought to qualify. ------------------------------------- February 14, ...

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Thread: 18 church shootings in 11 years (A comprehensive list)

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    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    18 church shootings in 11 years (A comprehensive list)

    Got this off of a Front Sight email.

    Virginia requires "good and sufficient reason" to carry in church. This ought to qualify.

    -------------------------------------

    February 14, 2010 - Richmond, California - Three hooded men
    walk into Gethsemane Church of God in Christ and opened
    fire and then fled the scene, as the singing of the choir
    was replaced by frightened screams. The two victims, a 14-
    year-old boy and a 19-year-old man, were hospitalized.

    March 8, 2009 - Maryville, Illinois - Suspect Terry Joe
    Sedlacek, 27, of Troy, walks into the First Baptist Church,
    and shoots pastor Fred Winters dead, point blank. Several
    church members are injured by a knife in the struggle to
    capture after the attack, The suspect also had stabbed
    himself, but survived, when his gun jams.

    July 27, 2008 - Knoxville, Tennessee - A gunman opens fire
    in a church during a youth performance, killing two people
    and injuring seven.

    Dec. 9, 2007 - Colorado - Three people are killed and five
    wounded in two shooting rampages, one at a missionary
    school in suburban Denver and one at a church in Colorado
    Springs. The gunman in the second incident is killed by a
    guard.

    May 20, 2007 - Moscow, Idaho - A standoff between police
    and a suspect in the shootings of three people in a
    Presbyterian Church ended with three dead, including one
    police officer.

    Aug. 12, 2007 - Neosho, Missouri - First Congregational
    Church - 3 killed - Eiken Elam Saimon shot and killed the
    pastor and two deacons and wounded five others.

    May 21, 2006 - Baton Rouge, Louisiana - The Ministry of
    Jesus Christ Church - 4 killed - The four at the church who
    were shot were members of Erica Bell's family; she was
    abducted and murdered elsewhere; Bell's mother, church
    pastor Claudia Brown, was seriously wounded - Anthony Bell,
    25, was the shooter.

    Feb. 26, 2006 - Detroit, Michigan - Zion Hope Missionary
    Baptist Church - 2 killed + shooter - Kevin L. Collins, who
    reportedly went to the church looking for his girlfriend,
    later killed himself.

    April 9, 2005 - College Park, Georgia - A 27-year-old
    airman died after being shot at a church, where he had once
    worked as a security guard.

    March 12, 2005 - Brookfield, Wisconsin - Living Church of
    God - 7 killed + shooter - Terry Ratzmann opened fire on
    the congregation, killing seven and wounding four before
    taking his own life.

    July 30, 2005 - College Park, Georgia - World Changers
    Church International - shooter killed - Air Force Staff
    Sgt. John Givens was shot five times by a police officer
    after charging the officer, following violent behavior.

    Dec. 17, 2004, Garden Grove, Calif.: A veteran musician at
    the Crystal Cathedral shoots himself to death after a nine
    -hour standoff.

    Oct. 5, 2003 - Atlanta, Georgia - Turner Monumental AME
    Church - 2 killed + shooter - Shelia Wilson walked into the
    church while preparations are being made for service and
    shot the pastor, her mother and then herself.

    June 10, 2002 - Conception, Missouri - Benedictine
    monastery - 2 killed + shooter - Lloyd Robert Jeffress shot
    four monks in the monastery killing two and wounding two,
    before killing himself.

    March 12, 2002 - Lynbrook, New York - Our Lady of Peace
    Catholic Church - 2 killed - Peter Troy, a former mental
    patient, opens fire during Mass, killing the priest and a
    parishioner. He later receives a life sentence.

    May 18, 2001 - Hopkinsville, Kentucky - Greater Oak
    Missionary Baptist Church - 2 killed - Frederick Radford
    stood up in the middle of a revival service and began
    shooting at his estranged wife, Nicole Radford, killing her
    and a woman trying to help her.

    Sept. 15, 1999 - Fort Worth, Texas - Wedgewood Baptist
    Church - 7 killed + shooter - Larry Gene Ashbrook shot dead
    seven people and injured a further seven at a concert by
    Christian rock group Forty Days in Fort Worth, Texas before
    killing himself.

    April 15, 1999 - Salt Lake City, Utah - LDS Church Family
    History Library - 2 killed + shooter - Sergei Babarin, 70,
    with a history of mental illness, entered the library,
    killed two people and wounded four others before he was
    gunned down by police.
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

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    Member Array cz2075bd's Avatar
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    The list omits George Tiller (the partial-birth abortionist) who was killed in a (Lutheran?) church last year.

    Also, in the 2007 Colorado incident, I belive it is wrong that "the gunman in the second incident is killed by a guard." I believe it was just a female parishoner who was CCW'ing at the time. Possibly with pastor's permission, but she was not paid security.

    I also think there was another shooting in recent years where the pastor was up at the pulpit and the gunman entered and started shooting at the pastor from the back of the church. The first shot went through the Bible he was holding, sending paper confetti into the air. At first the congregation thought it was some type of staged stunt. That pastor did die after more shots were fired. I don't remember when & where but I don't believe it is on this list.

    I live in Virginia and often wonder about these types of shootings and whether they would hold up in court as "good and sufficient reason" to CCW in church. I wouldn't count on it. But if you are, for example, a Catholic who is at adoration at 2am all alone (and the BG's know it), I think that would definitely be good and sufficient reason.

    There is a bill in the VA State Legislature to allow CCW in Church with the pastor's permission. It's a move in the right direction.
    pro-CZ's, pro-AR's, anti-CZAR's

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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    Mississippi needs to lift the ban on CCW at church.
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

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    Member Array Crucible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cz2075bd View Post
    There is a bill in the VA State Legislature to allow CCW in Church with the pastor's permission. It's a move in the right direction.
    I don't think it is at all-in fact, its just the opposite IMO: I'd much prefer to take my chances with the ambigious "good and sufficient reason" that it is now with a jury than it migrate to be absolute black and white unlawful without a pastor's permission (if it's legal with permission, therefore it must be then illegal without).

    C-

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    VIP Member Array miklcolt45's Avatar
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    Also, in the 2007 Colorado incident, I belive it is wrong that "the gunman in the second incident is killed by a guard." I believe it was just a female parishoner who was CCW'ing at the time. Possibly with pastor's permission, but she was not paid security.
    Correct. Jeanne Assam was a volunteer, member of the church, former LEO.
    I also think there was another shooting in recent years where the pastor was up at the pulpit and the gunman entered and started shooting at the pastor from the back of the church. The first shot went through the Bible he was holding, sending paper confetti into the air. At first the congregation thought it was some type of staged stunt. That pastor did die after more shots were fired. I don't remember when & where but I don't believe it is on this list.
    It is the one from Maryville, IL. Pastor Fred Winters.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliott

    The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
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    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    If we were to consider the thousands of churches that meet at least once weekly and over a period of 11 years, there is little liklihood that any particular church would experience such violence.

    Certainly there is nothing wrong with preparedness, but whether or not a particular state or county would consider those sufficient reason to carry I don't know.

    If we add a couple to make 20 it figures out to be 1.8 shootings per year in the entire nation with thousands of meetings per year. A very low probability.

    Regards,
    Jerry

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    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    I agree the probability is low. I wonder how many women gave birth in churches over the time same period. I would guess a similar low number. Puts it in perspective.

    I am all for carrying to be legal in churches, or most anywhere for that matter. It has been up here since forever and there is no horrific "blood on the pews"
    "a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.

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    Distinguished Member Array jumpwing's Avatar
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    A possibility is a possibility. I don't appreciate legislators telling me where I have to gamble with my family's life. In 40 years of living I have never needed a firearm (not counting the military). That's zero instances over 40 years. Should I stop carrying?

    Bear in mind the list does not include armed robbery, rape, mugging, or other attempted violent crimes on church property; only shootings. Considering that you can't tell how your own personal brush with violence is going to end until it's all over, I'll continue to carry at church.
    "The flock sleep peaceably in their pasture at night because Sheepdogs stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    The list isn't comprehensive, by a long shot. There are plenty of missing examples of church shootings, though generally only the bloodiest and deadliest get the headlines.

    Here are a few more to add to the list.

    2010, Jan 23 -- Woman killed at church parking lot, at St. Dominic Church in Youngstown, Ohio.

    2009, Dec 11 -- Man killed at funeral services being held at the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Portland, Oregon.

    2008, Nov 23 -- Multiple people killed when a husband crossed the country to kill his wife, at the St. Thomas Syrian Orthodox Knanaya Church, in Clifton, NJ.

    2008, Mar 21 -- Police investigators search for a suspect and motive in a shooting that left two people wounded outside a Suitland, Maryland church where the victims had been attending Bible study.

    2007, Nov 4 -- Gunfire erupts at Dorchester's Holy Tabernacle Church in Boston, injuring one.

    2007, Mar 11 -- Woman shot and killed by estranged husband while walking into church, at Acts Full Gospel Church in Oakland, CA.

    2006, Oct 2 -- Although not at a church building, the attack in Lancaster County, Pa., by a gunman who killed five girls and then himself at an Amish school targeted a religious site.

    2000, Nov 1 -- The wife of a minister at the Eagle Heights Baptist Church & Christian School, in Kansas City, MO, decided to kill her daughter (for "rebelliousness") and then herself.

    1999, Jul 4 -- One person killed in a shooting at the Koren United Methodist Church in Bloomington, IN.

    1999, Mar 11 -- Three killed and four injured as a family dispute erupts at the New St. John Fellowship Baptist Church in Gonzales, LA.

    ... and on, and on.

    If we go beyond 11yrs, we'll find thousands, I'm sure, just in the USA.

    1980, Jun 22 -- At the Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, TX, five were killed when a psychopath went off his rocker. A prelude to events in 1999 that would nearly mirror these.



    I wouldn't be surprised if the tally were to exceed 100 incidents over the past 11yrs, if a truly comprehensive list were created.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    Member Array cz2075bd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crucible View Post
    I don't think it is at all-in fact, its just the opposite IMO: I'd much prefer to take my chances with the ambigious "good and sufficient reason" that it is now with a jury than it migrate to be absolute black and white unlawful without a pastor's permission (if it's legal with permission, therefore it must be then illegal without).

    C-
    Good point.
    pro-CZ's, pro-AR's, anti-CZAR's

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    Distinguished Member Array MinistrMalic's Avatar
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    All the more reason to be prepared and vigilant. Church, as Jerry says, is a low-probability place to be attacked. Nevertheless it is not a completely safe area either, and therefore we need to continue to be vigilant even when worshipping.
    "...whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one." (Luke 22:36)
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    Member Array torgo1968's Avatar
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    We should be very careful how we use probability to justify our opinions on this issue. As has been pointed out, these types of shootings are exceedingly rare. Look at it from the other side. We know that accidental shooting deaths, or deaths by CCWs are exceedingly rare, but what do they do? They still highlight these deaths to justify whatever gun control flavor of the month they are pushing.

    The only way these shootings should be used by us is to answer the contention that they never happen. What we should really be talking about is the legal "good and sufficient" requirement. If we were to follow this standard, the argument can be made that we don't need to carry anywhere. But of course, we don't carry for what we expect to happen.

    The law should be simple. Put churches in the same category as any other privately owned establishment. If the church wishes to bar carry, they should be able to do so with clear signage. However, there is no rational argument to statutorily ban carry in church, and no one should have to provide "good and sufficient" reason to carry anywhere.

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    Distinguished Member Array tiwee's Avatar
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    Christmas Eve 2009 in Little Rock.
    Salvation Army major shot dead in Arkansas on Christmas Eve - CNN.com

    This one is stuck in my mind because it happened in front of his children and the Salvation Army is probably the most reliable way to give money to the poor and not see it siphoned off by heartless employees of the "non profits" in the business.

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    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    [We should be very careful how we use probability to justify our opinions on this issue.]

    I would agree in general. However, the state may not find that the statistics justify a change in the law, and especially if some are opposed to CCW.
    I do carry in church.

    Another, off topic thought, is that not being able to carry in a church would not impact my attending a particular church.

    Regards,
    Jerry

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinistrMalic View Post
    Church, as Jerry says, is a low-probability place to be attacked.
    As we should all realize, "church" (or any other activity) consists of three things:
    • Going to;
    • Being there; and
    • Coming from


    which makes it more likely than most folks initially consider. Beyond which a place of worship is a place where most folks put their guard down, security-wise. As well, it's a place well-known to be (historically, at least) unarmed as a group. Lastly, it is an enclosed space with limited exits. Compared to many other venues, it has a lot of attractive benefits that could aid in a violent attack.

    Sitting in a pew is fairly safe so far as it goes, on a church day. But then, being a sitting at a table as a student at a school is fairly safe as well. Yet, both activities have seen scores upon scores of attacks over the years. As far as potential for a body count goes, they're target-rich environments with a high probability of easy entry and escape. That point, alone, can make it more attractive than many others, from the criminals' point of view.

    Speaking strictly of probabilities, I'm highly unlikely to even see a criminal today, let alone be criminalized by one. But that'll be meaningless on the day something happens. It'll sting particularly badly if in fact I end up voluntarily disarming myself and causing myself to be practically incapable of surviving a violent attack because of it. Pass, when training and preparation and carrying has become a normal, daily part of being awake, and when it's so easy to simply carry and maintain some reasonable ability of surviving the event should it occur.

    We carry because we cannot know when or where a criminal is to strike next. We don't do it out of fear, or arrogance, or out of a desire to control what cannot be controlled. We do it because we'd feel foolish and irreverent of the gift of life bestowed upon us and our families. We do it because doing zero in preparation for security of our families would be intolerable. We do it because we've trained to be able to respond in such situations. We do it because it's little more effort than putting on socks and, therefore, there really isn't a reason not to do so.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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