Personal Safety

Police search for motive in shooting at Nevada Mormon church

Police search for motive in shooting at Nevada Mormon church

Police search for motive in shooting at Nevada Mormon church Posted: Updated: (Churchill County Sheriff’s Office via AP). This undated photo provided by the Churchill County Sheriff’s office shows John O’Conner. Police in the northern Nevada city of Fallon are trying to determine why O’Conner walked into his Mormon church on Sun… (AP Photo/Scott Sonner). A woman who would only identify herself as a niece of shooting victim Charles ‘Bert’ Miller, is joined by her children as she places flowers at a makeshift memorial Monday, July 23, 2018, in Fallon, Nev., outside the fire depar… (AP Photo/Scott Sonner). A woman who would only identify herself as a niece of shooting victim Charles ‘Bert’ Miller, is joined by her children as she places flowers at a makeshift memorial Monday, July 23, 2018, in Fallon, Nev., outside the fire depar… Monday, July 23 2018 5:15 PM EDT 2018-07-23 21:15:57 GMT Updated: Monday, July 23 2018 5:16 PM EDT 2018-07-23 21:16:27 GMT (Ellen Banner/The Seattle Times via AP, File). FILE – In this May 18, 2009 file photo, former Seattle Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen, 87, retired and living in Montana, testifies at the King County Courthouse in Seattle. Former Seattle Archbishop Raymon… Former Seattle Archbishop Raymond G. Hunthausen has died at 96. More >> Former Seattle Archbishop Raymond G. Hunthausen has died at 96. More >> Monday, July 23 2018 5:13 PM EDT 2018-07-23 21:13:53 GMT Updated: Monday, July 23 2018 5:16 PM EDT 2018-07-23 21:16:23 Monday, July 23 2018 2:23 PM EDT 2018-07-23 18:23:37 GMT Updated: Monday, July 23 2018 5:16 PM EDT 2018-07-23 21:16:22 Monday, July 23 2018 4:38 PM EDT 2018-07-23 20:38:53 GMT Updated: Monday, July 23 2018 5:16 PM EDT 2018-07-23 21:16:20 GMT A 1:36 PM EDT 2018-07-23 17:36:24 GMT Updated: Monday, July 23 2018 5:16 PM EDT 2018-07-23 21:16:19 5:00 PM EDT 2018-07-23 21:00:43 GMT Updated: Monday, July 23 2018 5:16 PM EDT 2018-07-23 21:16:15 GMT (Nathan Papes/The Springfield News-Leader via AP). The duck boat that sank in Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo., is raised Monday, July 23, 2018. The boat went down Thursday evening after a thunderstorm generated near-hurricane strength winds. A Missouri lawmaker says change is needed to improve the safety of amphibious vehicles like duck boats after 17 people were killed when one sunk last week at Table Rock Lake near Branson. More >> A Missouri lawmaker says change is needed to improve the safety of amphibious vehicles like duck boats after 17 people were killed when one sunk last week at Table Rock Lake near Branson. More >> Monday, July 23 2018 1:25 AM EDT 2018-07-23 05:25:19 GMT Updated: Monday, July 23 2018 5:16 PM EDT 2018-07-23 21:16:09 GMT (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes). A makeshift memorial of flowers, candles and notes grows on the sidewalk outside the Los Feliz Trader Joe’s store in Los Angeles, Sunday, July 22, 2018. A day earlier, Trader Joe’s employee Melyda Corado was shot and kille… A relative says a deadly shootout at a Los Angeles supermarket started with a domestic feud miles away. More >> A relative says a deadly shootout at a Los Angeles supermarket started with a domestic feud miles away. More >> Monday, July 23 2018 4:24 PM EDT 2018-07-23 20:24:09 GMT Updated: Monday, July 23 2018 5:15 PM EDT 2018-07-23 21:15:53 GMT (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo). Jason McMillan, 36, of Riverside, a Riverside County Sheriff’s deputy who was shot and paralyzed in the Oct, 1, 2017, Las Vegas shooting, reacts as he talks about that evening and is upset MGM’s decision, during a personal acc… Victims of a fatal mass shooting at a Las Vegas country music festival are outraged they are being sued by the company that owns the hotel where the gunman opened fire. More >> Victims of a fatal mass shooting at a Las Vegas country music festival are outraged they are being sued by the company that owns the hotel where the gunman opened fire. More >> Monday, July 23 2018 1:01 PM EDT 2018-07-23 17:01:11 GMT Updated: Monday, July 23 2018 5:15 PM EDT 2018-07-23 21:15:50 GMT The Connecticut Supreme Court has rejected the appeal by a man who was sentenced to death for killing two adults and a 9-year-old girl on a Bridgeport street in 2006. More >> The Connecticut Supreme Court has rejected the appeal by a man who was sentenced to death for killing two adults and a 9-year-old girl on a Bridgeport street in 2006. More >> Monday, July 23 2018 8:30 AM EDT 2018-07-23 12:30:26 GMT Updated: Monday, July 23 2018 5:15 PM EDT 2018-07-23 21:15:41 GMT From
By MICHELLE L. PRICE and SCOTT SONNERAssociated Press
FALLON, Nev. (AP) – Police in the northern Nevada city of Fallon were trying to determine Monday why a 48-year-old man walked into his Mormon church on Sunday and opened fire, killing one man and injuring another.
Fallon Police Chief Kevin Gehman said it does not appear that 48-year-old gunman John Kelley O’Connor was targeting the church but instead was focused on an individual victim.
It wasn’t clear if the target was Charles E. “Bert” Miller, 61, who was killed, or another unidentified man who was shot in the leg. Authorities have not released the second man’s name, but they say he has been discharged from the hospital.
O’Connor was charged with murder and battery with substantial harm and was being held at the Churchill County Jail on a $1,050,000 bond, the police chief said Monday morning.
It’s wasn’t immediately clear Monday if he had an attorney. No one could be reached to comment on his behalf at O’Connor’s listed phone number.
O’Connor is scheduled to make his first court appearance later this week, Gehman said.
After the shooting, O’Connor walked to his home around the corner from the church, authorities said. Police and sheriff’s deputies surrounded his home. A hostage negotiator spoke to O’Connor over the phone, and the man agreed to exit and surrender with his hands up, police said.
Police seized a handgun that appeared to match one used at the church and several other items from O’Connor’s home but did not yet know the man’s motive, Gehman said.
“We are trying to piece together the information we have to determine the reasons,” Gehman told The Associated Press.
Miller was a 35-year veteran of the local volunteer fire department, according to police.
“I don’t know why you’d ever want to shoot Bert Miller. He’s the nicest guy in the world,” church member Rich Hutchings told the Deseret News. “It’s absolutely shocking.”
Another church member, Steve White, told the newspaper that when the shooting started, “pandemonium broke out. People were screaming and hitting the ground.”
Jacquie Hettinger, who lives across the street from O’Connor, told The Associated Press that she’s known him for more than a decade as a kind man who helped her care for her husband when he was sick.
I’m just devastated,” Hettinger said. “I don’t know what happened.”
She was in the church during the shooting, but she said she was sitting in the center of the room and the shooting happened of to the side. She said she didn’t see anything because it happened so fast but heard four to six gunshots.
There were about 50 people in the church at the time of the shooting.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not allow guns in church meetings.
“We express our love to those in this congregation and our prayers for the victims and their families. Local leaders are ministering to them at this time,” church spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a statement.
The police chief said officers had contact with O’Connor in the past, including two domestic violence charges in 1992 and 1995. Both charges were dismissed.
Zachary Taylor, another neighbor of O’Connor’s, said he didn’t know the man well but often saw him working outside in his garage tinkering with a personal watercraft.
“It’s pretty shocking,” Taylor said. “I saw him the day before the shooting, and he didn’t seem unstable or violent or particularly unhappy.”
O’Connor ran for the state Legislature in 2010 and 2014, first as a Democrat and then as a Libertarian.
An archived version of his campaign website, accessed through the Internet Archive website, shows O’Connor campaigned in 2014 on a platform of increased term limits for public officials, less federal regulation of firearms, and the transfer of public lands from the U.S. government to state control.
Fallon, which is about 60 miles (96 kilometers) east of Reno, has a population of about 8,700 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
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Price reported from Las Vegas. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Can’t Find Something? 3705 CTH 25, La Crescent, MN 55947 Phone: 507-895-1919 or 800-947-9969 (WXOW) News tips:

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