COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A gunman yesterday killed two staff members at a missionary-training center north of Denver after being told he couldn't spend the night there. About 12 hours later, a gunman fatally shot a person at a megachurch in Colorado Springs before a guard killed him, police said.
The gunman at the New Life Church was shot and killed by a church security guard after entering the church's main foyer with high-powered rifle shortly before 1 p.m. and opening fire, Colorado Springs Police Chief Richard Myers said.
It was not immediately known whether the Colorado Springs shooting was related to the crime in Arvada, about 65 miles north of Denver.
Authorities in Arvada said no one had been captured in the shootings there.
A church member died of wounds inflicted by the gunman, Senior Pastor Brady Boyd said. At least two others were shot and wounded at the church, where hundreds of people were milling about and parents were picking up their children from the nursery.
The church's 11 a.m. service had recently ended, and hundreds of people were milling about when the gunman opened fire. Nearby were parents picking up their children from the nursery.
Police arrived to find that the gunman had been killed by a member of the church's armed security staff, Myers said.
"There was a courageous staff member who probably saved many lives here today," Myers said.
Gov. Bill Ritter ordered state authorities to help investigate. The FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were assisting, and officers combed the church campus looking for suspicious devices.
The others injured by the church gunman were taken to Penrose Community Hospital in Colorado Springs, said hospital spokeswoman Amy Sufak.
New Life was founded by the Rev. Ted Haggard, who was fired last year after a former male prostitute alleged he had a three-year cash-for-sex relationship with him. Haggard, then the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, admitted committing undisclosed "sexual immorality."
The New Life church is one of Colorado's largest with about 10,000 members.
About 7,000 people were on the campus at the time of the shooting, Boyd said. Security at the church had been beefed up after the early morning shootings in Arvada, he said.
The first shooting happened at about 12:30 a.m. at the Youth With a Mission center in Arvada, a Denver suburb, police spokeswoman Susan Medina said.
A man and a woman were killed and two men were wounded, Medina said. All four were staff members of the center, said Paul Filidis, a Colorado Springs-based spokesman with Youth With a Mission.
Arvada Police Chief Don Wick said the suspect had spent several minutes speaking with people inside the dorm. Peter Warren, director of Youth With a Mission Denver, said the man had asked whether he could spend the night. Several youths called on Tiffany Johnson, the center's director of hospitality.
"The director of hospitality was called. That's when he opened fire," Warren said. Johnson, 26, was killed.
Witnesses told police that the gunman was a 20-year-old white male, wearing a dark jacket and skull cap, who left on foot.
In addition to Johnson, killed in Arvada was Philip Crouse, 23. Youth With a Mission said Johnson was from Minnesota and Crouse was from Alaska.