Matthew Murray

The man who went on a killing spree inside a pair of Colorado churches Sunday had been baptized recently into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The LDS Church confirmed Wednesday that Matthew Murray had joined the faith, being baptized a little more than a year ago.

"Our records show that Matthew Murray, from Englewood, Colo., has been a member of the church for a little over a year," LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter said in a statement to the Deseret Morning News. "Our hearts and prayers go out to all those affected by this tragedy."

A heavily armed Murray, 24, killed four people and wounded five others in separate attacks at the Youth With a Mission center in Arvada and the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. He was shot by a security guard at the church and then killed himself.

Murray had posted numerous anti-religious comments on the Internet between the two shootings, railing against Christians.

In an interview with KSL-TV on Wednesday, A.J. Ormond said he and his wife were missionaries in a Colorado LDS ward when they first encountered Murray, who expressed interest in the Mormon faith.

"He seemed like a normal person, maybe a little sheltered," Ormond said, describing Murray as polite, friendly and serious about joining the LDS Church.

Shortly after his baptism, Ormond said, Murray stopped going to church. Ormond said he recognized Murray after seeing his picture on TV.

"It was obvious that it wasn't the person we had known that had committed those shootings and those murders," he told KSL.


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