- On Christmas Day, a man shot and killed his wife before committing suicide at a Jehovah’s Witnesses temple in Thornton, Colorado.
- Authorities have not yet revealed the identities of the couple or provided information about the motive behind the attack.
- The Denver Post reported that investigators recovered three incendiary devices at the church, but it is not clear if they are related to the incident. The attack is being described as “unprovoked” by the police.
Authorities in Colorado have not yet revealed the identities of the man who shot and killed his wife before committing suicide in the middle of a religious service at a Jehovah’s Witnesses temple on Christmas Day.
The Denver Post reported this week that investigators recovered three incendiary devices or artifacts at the church in Thornton. However, the police did not specify what the material consisted of or whether it had any connection to the attack, which they described as “unprovoked.”
The tragedy was reported on Sunday when, as usual, the Kingdom Hall held three religious services. The murder-suicide is said to have occurred between the morning and noon on Sunday.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by this unprovoked incident and loss of life at our Kingdom Hall in Thornton,” the Sherrelwood Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses said in a statement. “We are cooperating with authorities as they conduct the investigation into the event,” they added.
The Thornton Police Department received an initial report at around 9 a.m. about a structural fire at the Kingdom Hall at 951 Milky Way. This report was followed by another alert at around 12:30 p.m. indicating that a man had shot and killed an older woman in the space and that the man then shot himself.
The police tweeted about the scene for the first time at around 10:30 a.m. to report that they were investigating a homicide on the premises and that there was no active threat. In addition to police and fire authorities, members of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office Dangerous Materials Unit also arrived at the scene.
The couple was married and were members of the congregation. It was supposed that their identities would be revealed by the county coroner’s office, but there is no new information at this time.
Luis Sanchez, who lives in front of the temple, said he heard two shots. He related that when he looked outside, he saw a woman lying on the ground. “It’s very sad,” he described. “It’s Christmas,” he pointed out.