Tiffany Johnson, 26, of Minnesota, was one of two Youth With A Mission staff members shot and killed by an attacker in Arvada, Colo.
DENVER – The 24-year-old man who killed four Christians at a missions training camp and megachurch in Colorado was addicted to violence-espousing rock music and was removed from a missions training course after performing a graphic Marilyn Manson song at an otherwise religious Christmas program, according to reports.
National Terror Alert reported a series of posts believed to have been submitted by Matthew Murray, reportedly known online as “nghtmrchld26,” said, “You Christians brought this on yourselves … All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you … as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world.”
The postings, on an online forum for former Pentecostals, have been removed. But other users said the writer had described himself as a former member of YWAM who had been asked not to join a mission trip and now wanted to “blow up and shoot everything I can,” the website said.
“I have found myself in deep trances and other worlds through the usage of this drug and have found my life radically altered and changed and (sic) by it. I found this drug to be a powerful driving force and easy gateway into a world of sex, other drugs, rebellion, homosexuality, alcoholism and many other dark things,” the posting continued. “I have found such an incredible power in this drug that will completely carry one’s mind away into a very real spiritual realm. My mind is completely controlled by this drug and there is no way at all for me to break free.
“What is this mind altering life changing drug that has such an incredible power? Well, one of the main persons who has helped make this drug a powerful force in my life has been Marilyn Manson. … The drug that I use and am addicted to is commonly known in our culture as … Rock Music,” said the posting, among many that were removed, National Terror Alert said.
Murray is believed to have been the gunman who shot and killed Tiffany Johnson, 26, and Philip Crouse, 24, at the Youth With A Mission campus in Arvada early Sunday morning. Then, about 12 hours later, Murray died when confronted by an armed security officer at New Life Church after he shot and killed sisters Stephanie Works, 18, and Rachael Works, 16, in the church parking lot.
Philip Crouse, 24, from Alaska, was killed by an armed attacker while responding to a request for help by a lone individual at the Arvada, Colo., base of Youth With A Mission
Authorities have confirmed shell casings found at both locations tied Murray to the attacks.
According to the Denver Post, authorities also are investigating a rant posted online by Murray between the two shootings in Arvada and in Colorado Springs.
The wording of Murray’s posting virtually copied a manifesto produced by Eric Harris, who with Dylan Klebold attacked and killed a dozen classmates and a teacher at Colorado’s Columbine High School in 1999.
The posting, first reported by KUSA-TV in Denver, was put up at 11:03 a.m., about 10 hours after the Arvada shootings and only two hours before the Colorado Springs shootings.
“You Christians brought this on yourselves I’m coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the @#%$ teeth and I WILL shoot to kill. … God, I can’t wait till I can kill you people. Feel no remorse, no sense of shame, I don’t care if I live or die. …”
Harris, whose body was found with Klebold’s among their victims in the school attack in suburban Denver, wrote before his death, “I’m coming for EVERYONE soon, and I WILL be armed to the (expletive) teeth, and I will shoot to kill.”
Murray’s diatribe continued: “No I am not crazy, crazy is just a word, to me it has no meaning, everyone is different, but most of you @#%$ heads out there in society, going to your everyday @#%$ jobs and doing your everyday routine (expletive) things, I say @#%$ you and die, if you got a problem with my thoughts, come to me and I’ll kill you, because……..(expletive), DEAD PEOPLE DON’T ARGUE! My belief is that if I say something, it goes. I am the law. If you don’t like it, you die. If I don’t like you or I don’t like what you want me to do, then you die. If I do something incorrect, oh @#%$ well, you die,” according to the Post report.
“You break my back but you won’t break me…..all is black but I still see…shut me down, knock me to the floor…..shoot me up, @#%$ me like a whore….trapped under ice, comfortably cold, I’ve gone as low as you can go….. feel no remorse, no sorrow or shame……time’s gonna wash away all pain I made a God out of blood not superiority I killed the king of deceit and now I sleep in anarchy.” the rant continued. The newspaper confirmed the last paragraph of Murray’s posting is from a song by the band called KMRDM’s that is titled “Anarchy.”
Jeanne Assam (Courtesy KUSA-TV)
Murray was carrying clips with up to 1,000 rounds of ammunition when he was confronted by Jeanne Assam, a former Minneapolis police officer who told him to surrender, and when he didn’t, shot. He had injured another half dozen people at the two attack sites, authorities said.
“It seemed like it was me, the gunman and God,” Assam reported. “I wasn’t going to wait for him to do other damage. I knew what I had to do.”
YWAM confirmed that Murray had been part of one of its training programs several years ago, but “issues with his health made it unsafe for him” to continue with the program, which included an overseas mission trip.
Murray was homeschooled and briefly attended Arapahoe Community College, officials reported.
A search warrant affidavit said authorities believed Murray may have been sending “hate mail” to YWAM in recent weeks.
CNN reported a man who was Murray’s roommate while he was at the YWAM training camp said Murray heard voices and sometimes talked to them.
The CNN report said Richard Lerner confirmed the decision for Murray to leave the program came from YWAM officials, along with Murray’s parents, after Murray performed songs by rock stars Linkin Park and Marilyn Manson at a Christmas event for the Christian program.
Jeremy Reynalds, a correspondent for ASSIST News Service, also reported on Werner’s comments. He said Werner described Murray’s performance of rock songs as “pretty scary.”
CNN said Werner, now of Brazil, recalled Murray would roll around in bed and make noises.
“He would say, ‘Don’t worry, I’m just talking to the voices,’” CNN reported Werner said. “He’d say, ‘Don’t worry, Richard. You’re a nice guy. The voices like you.’”
A spokesman for the family, described by neighbors as deeply religious, issued a statement expressing their sorrow over the situation.
Authorities searched the family home, reportedly in a hunt for documentation of his computer postings, court filings said.
A forum at the Rocky Mountain News contained a brief assessment of the situation from “mrw650,” “Two words: DEMONIC POSSESSION.”