Breaking news got it wrong

Woke up Monday morning to an AP story concerning the recent church shooting in Colorado:

Colo. Church Gunman `hated Christians’

By JUDITH KOHLER – 8 hours ago

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The deadly shooting sprees at a megachurch and a missionary training school were believed to have been carried out by the same person — a 24-year-old suburban Denver man who “hated Christians,” a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation, identified the gunman as Matthew Murray, the son of a distinguished neurologist who is a prominent researcher on multiple sclerosis.

Colo. Church Gunman `hated Christians’

Now how could someone come to that conclusion?

Was the shooter an atheist or a Muslim? Was it someone who naturally didn’t like Christians?

It seems that on further reporting we found out more about the shooter:

[Matthew] Murray, who was home-schooled in a deeply religious Christian household, had been thrown out of Youth With a Mission a few years ago and had been sending the group hate mail, the Associated Press reported, citing court documents. He had no known connection with the New Life Church, its pastor told reporters.

Gunman Planned to Kill More, Officials Say

So he didn’t hate Christians, he had a beef with the Missionary group and the church was just a random target since it is one of the largest in the state.

It kind of reminds me of the initial thoughts on the Oklahoma bombing in 1995 – “it must have been Arabs” – and that turned out wrong, or the false story that the Columbine school shooters asked victims if they believed in God and if they did they were killed.

The problem is now “gunman hated Christians” will be around and passed around forever.

That’s what happens when news organizations rush to report without getting the whole story.


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