Shootings Won't Break Faith of Former TTU Quarterback - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/10/07

Shootings Won't Break Faith of Former TTU Quarterback

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Evidence found at the two scenes confirms the deadly shootings at two Colorado churches were connected.

"Testing has confirmed that the handgun found at the church in Colorado Springs is forensically linked to shell casings found at the crime scene in Arvada," Arvada Police Chief Don Wick said.

Police now believe Matthew Murray was behind both of Sunday's attacks. The 24-year-old first went to a missionary training school in Arvada, CO.  He said he was looking for a place to sleep and when he was turned away, shot four people, killing two of them.

Twelve hours later, he opened fire inside the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. There, he shot four people, killing two of them before a volunteer security guard shot and killed Murray.

Police now know that Murray was kicked out of a missionary program several years ago.

A former Texas Tech quarterback says the weekend violence won't keep him from church this Sunday.  Cody Hodges is a member of the New Life Church.  He attended services Sunday morning, before the gunman opened fire killing two members of his congregation.

Hodges was not injured, but says the experience has everyone questioning their safety, but not their faith.

"I guess you don't ever guess something like that would ever happen, and then when it does, it just kind of makes you really question your safety, kind of no matter where you are," Hodges said. 

He went to early services at New Life Church Sunday morning.

"I never go to the 9 o'clock service, but for some reason, yesterday I decided to go to the early service," Hodges said. 

Hodges has lived in Colorado Springs since mid-August, and just last month he visited Levelland High School, teaching students about Rachel's Challenge.

"On April 20, 1999 in Littleton, CO at Columbine High School two high school students walked into their high school with guns and pipe bombs and proceeded to kill 12 students and one teacher," Hodges told Levelland students in November. 

The program works to prevent tragedies, so when Hodges left church Sunday morning, he couldn't imagine what would happen nearly two hours later.

"I was watching the Cowboy's game, it was on TV, and breaking news came across the screen," Hodges said. 

The shooter killed two sisters, and wounded three other members of Hodges' church family.

"Kind of makes you wonder how does a person get to that point where they're either that angry or that upset or that distraught about something where they feel like taking somebody else's life is the only option they have. I just don't understand that. I don't understand that at all," Hodges said. 

"I imagine you'll be in church next Sunday, is it going to be hard to walk through the doors knowing what happened," NewsChannel 11 asked. 

"Obviously that will actually enter your mind for the first time, this happened a week ago, but the thing is, as a believer, you still have to go to worship," Hodges said. 

Hodges tells NewsChannel 11 that there was an eerie feeling across the city Monday, but he says his church is strong, and they'll help each other deal with this tragedy.

Colo. Church Gunman Had Been Kicked Out
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The gunman believed to have killed four people at a megachurch and a missionary training school had been thrown out of the school a few years ago and had been sending it hate mail, police said in court papers Monday.

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