Neighboring minister, alleged shooter's family react to bishop's killing

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  • Grandpa Phil
    Sept. 2, 2010 6:56 a.m.

    All I asked was if there was a safe way to donate money to the care of the family and DN blocked my comment. How does that violate any of their rules? We are LDS and would like to make a donation for the future care of the wife and family. Is there anyone who could direct us in the right direction?

  • David P.
    Sept. 1, 2010 7:13 p.m.

    To: SLMG,

    This story was on the CBS Radio news hourly report on Sunday night. It was a short story, but did say
    that a "Mormon Official" was shot and killed in Church and that the police found the suspect after the suspect had called and that the police shot and killed the suspect after the suspect had fired at them.

    That's where I heard the story first. Saw more on the Fresno Bee website and the Deseret News website.

    This truly is a very Sad story. Why someone had to take the life of another who was not even an acquaintance. The Bishop to the suspect only represented a "Position" in the LDS Church. This person obviously had a serious "beef" with the Church and took it out on someone who really had
    nothing to do with the "beef". Why when people
    leave the Church for whatever reason, AND they keep on obsessing on their "beefs" is beyond normal reasoning, but then a person out of touch with any form reasoning is like a stick of dynamite already lit waiting to go off. And that's what apparently happened.

    Let Us All Pray and Help the family.

  • SLMG
    Sept. 1, 2010 12:15 a.m.

    boiseblue | 6:22 p.m. Aug. 30, 2010
    Why is this not on National News??????

    I don't know about national news but it was in the international news. I first knew of this tragedy because I have DN emailed to me and it came as a breaking news announcment. Then it was in our national news here in Australia.

    Our prayers are with both families.

  • Freedom
    Aug. 31, 2010 9:17 p.m.

    Your comments were lovely. Your hopes will definitely be fulfilled. I've watched our LDS communities rally in mind boggling ways. We had a family loose their home to fire at 2am. By 7pm the next day, the family had a home with 6 months rent, 100% furnished with washer dryer, fridge, beds, computers, clothes, and on and on and on! I interviewed the family for a local article. Through tears of gratitude, the mom stated that their checkbook had not burned and she was ab

  • 67buggy
    Aug. 31, 2010 9:11 p.m.

    If anyone wants to know a legitimate way to donate to Bishop Sannar's family, I would suggest contacting the local newspaper in Visalia. I am quite sure someone locally has set up a fund for this family that is legitimate. The newspaper should have this information and if not, they will probably know who to contact.

    I know times are tough, but I got to figuring it out in my head last night. If every household that is active LDS between UT, ID, CA, NV, OR and WA, this mother would be able to comfortably raise her boys and also get them the professional help they might need in order to start the healing process. I know I plan on doing it.

    Just a suggestion.

  • Brother Paul
    Aug. 31, 2010 7:25 p.m.

    I wrote a comment on one story's comment section last night and spent a lot of time on it, AND it didn't get through?? Wonder Why?

    It is Really Really sad what happened to Bishop Sannar. God Bless his wife and family.

    Joseph Smith knew somewhat in advance what was going to happen as 1844 marched along. He is recorded as saying, "I'm going like a lamb to the slaughter".

    Jesus, Himself, knew what was coming as His time on Earth was nearing its end.

    Bishop Sannar had no idea that going to Church last Sunday was going to be his last day here on Earth.
    He died as a Good Bishop. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time as someone who was full of Terrible Negative energy did the Incomprehensible Evil. He was just doing his job as Bishop and doing it on the Sabbath Day. He will be in Good Company in the next world, but his poor wife and family Now have to Pick Up the Pieces Today.

    I encourage ALL to pray for them (I have) and Help in any way possible. Bishop Sannar Died as a Martyr...

  • LKA
    Aug. 31, 2010 7:11 p.m.

    @Pro Ed: Again Mr Ward was not excommunicated but in 2004 asked to have his membership removed. It is sad that you use this instance to bring your hate into this tragic act. I hope you are proud of yourself..

  • Californian#1@94131
    Aug. 31, 2010 7:07 p.m.

    Pro Education 4:28 p.m.: "A church that dispels "sinners", instead of bringing them into the fold...."

    OTOH, many of us know folks who were excommunicated but valued teir testimony and the blessings of the gospel enough to get their lives in order and return.

    Excommunication is not "punishment." All sins require repentance of different degrees, including recognizing, confessing, doing everything possible to restore the loss or harm we caused, and changing our ways. For some sins, there is no way to "restore," and excommunication may be the ultimate form of repentance. It may also be necessary to protect others from apostates, corrupt people, or predators of any kind.

    Some of the most memorable testimonies I remember were from people who were excommunicated, spent years fixing their lives with the help of caring bishops, maybe like Bishop Sannar, and regained their Church membership and temple blessings. I hope and pray that I never have to go through that. But hearing their experiences told me that even when we sin, God and His appointed servants love us and will do all they can to bring us back into the fold.

  • patriotandmore
    Aug. 31, 2010 6:07 p.m.

    I pray for everyone involved. This will be a difficult time for them.

  • krudd
    Aug. 31, 2010 5:25 p.m.

    To Chickenchaser: I am sad about the events in your life, but what does this story have to do with your grandchildren? I hope you find peace.
    I lived in Visalia and was in Bishop Sannar's stake. I am so so sad.

  • Pro Education
    Aug. 31, 2010 4:28 p.m.

    It is good to see that some of you understand the frustration that might come from being excommunicated. A church that dispels "sinners", instead of bringing them into the fold can have those who increase their hatred for those who dispel them and those who failed to help when they could.

    Religion for centuries have become the haven for the righteous. Luckily only God will sit in judgment.

  • Richardo_Valensuela
    Aug. 31, 2010 4:15 p.m.

    I wonder if this guy realized what he had done and wanted out of this world, after he shot the bishop, but could not do the job himself. He was mentally ill so it is hard to say. However, you have to wonder since he is the one who called the police and then shot at them when they arrived. You have to wonder if he wanted the police to kill him.

    My sincere condolences to the friends and family of both the bishop and the gunman. Too often we forget about the pain and suffering of the family and friends of those who commit such crimes. I think I would rather loose a loved one in the same manner as this bishops family and friends than have them die after comitting such an act. At least the bishops family can take comfort in him being in a better place and having given his life in the service of others. What does the gunman's family have other than a complete loss and the wasted life of a loved one? Both are very tragic circumstances.

  • EgbertThrockmorton
    Aug. 31, 2010 2:11 p.m.

    Evil abounds today, and NO place,house of worship or elsewhere is safe from the predations of evil and it's disciples.
    It's not "just California" (which was a stupid attitude and terribly naive), there are many many incidents (at LDS buildings)that occur around the US and in Canada weekly that aren't as bad as this was, and never make the news at all.
    To assume "you are safe" in any LDS building, is foolish, houses of worship of any faith, are now being targeted intentionally by disciples of evil and those who are mentally ill. Didn't used to be that way, but things have changed a LONG time ago.
    It's tie to wake up and face reality, it could indeed happen here in Utah to anyone in any house of worship at any time. And therein is the tragedy.

  • Grandpa Phil
    Aug. 31, 2010 2:07 p.m.

    Our prayers are with both families. I would personally like to know where and to whom we can donate money to assist in supporting Bishop Sannar's wife and children. I have heard references to a website but, sadly, it is hard to trust such sites these days. Is there a more secure and direct route to ensure the family gets the money? I would place faith in the Ward Clerk or the Bishop's Counselors. Can anyone provide information to assist?

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan
    Aug. 31, 2010 2:06 p.m.

    Chachi's comments are good advice. Boyack's fund may or may not be legit, I have never heard of the guy before and I have not investiagted the fund.

    However Chachi's advice is good in general. Do not let the rush to help lead to your sending money to scam artists.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan
    Aug. 31, 2010 2:02 p.m.

    Tom Smith,
    I think it is sick to use this trajic death to advance you hate of the LDS Church. You even admit "This may have nothing to do with the case at hand".

    It appears from the article this man was not excommunicated, and that he was still on the records of the Church.

    The process involved in excommunication is one of the most fair and balanced ones in existence.

  • Pagan
    Aug. 31, 2010 1:09 p.m.

    A tragedy, to be sure.

    Let us make sure it does not perpetuate more violence.

  • rogerdpack2
    Aug. 31, 2010 11:55 a.m.

    God bless this family!

  • ciaobello
    Aug. 31, 2010 11:36 a.m.

    This is such a heinous crime. And how does a mentally ill man get ahold of a gun so easily? Shouldn't his grandfather have it locked up? I couldn't sleep last night thinking of a young widow and six children, some of whom will never know their father. My heart goes out to the family and the congregation which will never be the same again. Sure, the early history of the Church had awful things happen like this. It's not commonplace now and I'm so terribly sorry it's happened to an innocent good man called as bishop. I've donated on the Connor Boyack blog.

  • lin
    Aug. 31, 2010 10:45 a.m.

    Let us not forget the incident at the Marriott Center a few years back with Pres. Hunter who pretty much froze until security took the perp down.

    Whatever happened, did he get jail time?

  • Chickenchaser
    Aug. 31, 2010 10:38 a.m.

    1988? The San Diego bishop is not the only person to see or witness some irony. A 'Kennth James Ward' was shot and killed by Artie Ray Baker at the Lynden, Washington border crossing 30 years ago.1988? So regardless of how long ago this man was offended an innocent man is dead leaving a beautiful family without a father. Though I have left the church I have not been excommunicated, but two of my sons have refused me the right to see my grandchildren and no help comes from the church. No wonder people flip.

  • justice4children
    Aug. 31, 2010 10:02 a.m.

    We are "all" children of God. Yes, it's very difficult to turn the other cheek when something so horrific happens such as this. I doesn't really matter what the religion is that has this fall on their shoulders...we 'all' hurt in the same way...we 'all' bleed in the same manner. Nevertheless, each of us have our own way of dealing with tragedies, no matter how they happen. Some cry (most of us), some pray (hopefully, 'all' of us), and some are angry. I think the Lord realizes that "all" the above reactions are fairly normal and STILL takes each of us under His wing. We are here to do the 'worst' and the 'best' we can to determine 'where' we will be in the hereafter.
    Pray that 'some' who would do their 'worst' might, somehow, now learn to reach out for help to 'change' their ways in the direction of right. He has given us the right to choose...please let it be for the's called CTR!

  • Cherilyn Eagar
    Aug. 31, 2010 9:57 a.m.

    @Chachi: I don't always agree with Connor Boyack's political views, but I will vouch for his integrity and commend him for setting up the fundraiser for the Sannar family. I understand he has received donations over $17,000 since yesterday and that he will be donating 100% of it to the family.

  • Chachi
    Aug. 31, 2010 9:35 a.m.

    WORD OF WARNING: Always double-check the authenticity of websites soliciting donations to the family in the aftermath of tragedies like this. There are unscrupulous people out there who try to take advantage of people's generosity and sympathy.

  • LKA
    Aug. 31, 2010 9:17 a.m.

    @Tom Smith: I don't believe excommunication was mentioned in any of the articles I have seen. One article said Mr. Ward withdrew his membership in 2004.

  • Jazz-Nation
    Aug. 31, 2010 9:16 a.m.

    Churches and schools need to tighten security. All these senseless acts of violence can possibly be prevented.

  • heartbroken
    Aug. 31, 2010 9:08 a.m.

    LDS in Arizona also send our love to our brothers and sisters in Visalia. We cannot know the" why "of it all as it is sometimes just unbelievable when such a thing happens - especially in a meetinghouse. This is when our Faith is called into action to just believe that Bishop Sannars family will receive strength and many blessings as they forge on. We grieve for their loss and for the pain endured by the Bishops ward family, as well. Many blessings to you all.

  • Southern Belle
    Aug. 31, 2010 8:58 a.m.

    I work for CNN, and this news event appeared on CNN as well.

  • Argemiro Trochez
    Aug. 31, 2010 8:09 a.m.

    Mis sentimientos de amor y dolor para ambas familias.
    Que bendicin tener el evangelio con nosotros y hombres dedicados trabajando al lado del Seor.

  • Kearns_Dad
    Aug. 31, 2010 7:21 a.m.

    Much like a criminal targets a police officer for his or her position or representation rather than the person. Bishop Sunnar was doing what he was called to do and serving others. I'm sure God will bless his family and his 6 sons and the congregation; the missionary efforts in the area will bear more fruit; the church will become better known; and the citizens will look towards service and better relationships with those they are in contact with.

  • Sister Smith
    Aug. 31, 2010 3:30 a.m.

    Neither Brother Smith, or myself, care for this situation, not one little bit.

  • attentive
    Aug. 31, 2010 12:23 a.m.

    I am so moved by the compassion and concern expressed here by so many. I, too, hope for peace and understanding and comfort for ALL the families and friends involved in this terrible event. We can't understand why things happen the way they do sometimes but we have all known the pain of losing a loved one so we can offer kind words and prays of hope.

  • CougMan
    Aug. 30, 2010 10:59 p.m.

    I'm a bishop in San Diego. During our Sacrament meeting yesterday, I couldn't stop thinking about how I would respond if a guy-wielding guy entered our services and started looking for a leader. For 30 minutes I thought about the actions I would take to protect the members, and, quit frankly, it disrupted my ability to bask in the spirit and message of the speaker. After returning home a few hours later, my heart sunk as I heard the news of that good bishop losing his life to a gunman in his building. What a strange coincidence! With strangers being directed to bishops often, I'm sad to think that they will all now be on guard and cautious.

    Let's pray for that good bishops family.

  • Linus
    Aug. 30, 2010 10:18 p.m.

    This was on national news: FOX News.

    It is appropriate to take comfort in the fact that the bishop was a good man and was in the very act of serving God, and therefore make an assumption that he is gone to a good place.

    It is not appropriate to judge a man who is mentally ill and make an assumption that he is gone to a bad place. God will do the judging . . . based on His knowledge of all things. We should all help to bear the heavy burden borne by both families.

  • MoJules
    Aug. 30, 2010 8:48 p.m.

    Someone asked people what they would do and he said that they responded like deers in the headlights. I think that each clergy leader in any congregation needs to have plans in tact. If we had a tornado here, there is a plan as to what to do, acts of violence are a disaster also and there needs to be plans as to what to do.

    I hope and pray that this ward and family will find comfort and peace in this tragic loss.

  • bbeck4x4
    Aug. 30, 2010 8:30 p.m.

    @cboyack on twitter is an honorable person, follow him there for donations and info. And of course double check but you can find out more info there as well, he has been giving moment by moment details all day.

  • Chachi
    Aug. 30, 2010 7:28 p.m.

    WORD OF WARNING: It is always a good policy to double-check any website that solicits donations in the wake of a tragedy like this. There are unscrupulous persons out there who take advantage of the sympathy of good people. Always verify before donating.

    Deepest sympathy to the families of both victims--since, if this man was indeed mentally unstable to the point of not being responsible for his actions, then he should also be considered a victim.

  • Bill in Nebraska
    Aug. 30, 2010 6:51 p.m.

    It really doesn't matter how or why this happened. What matters is that two people are dead. One goes to paradise and the other to spirit prison. One is assured of eternal life, probably, and the other depends entirely on the Lord for forgiveness. As has been mentioned life is fleeting. We need to understand that we are in the last days before the Savior of the World returns in his glory. Lets show love and compassion to both of the families involved to include the Ward family. The Church has lost a good man that still had much ahead of him. The other beset by an illness that is hard to explain. Remember we are asked to forgive everyone not just those whom we choose. The Lord will forgive who he wants to forgive. Lets all show our Christian faith in times of peril.

  • IdaChick
    Aug. 30, 2010 6:48 p.m.

    I can't believe how sad I feel about this. It is horrific. My prayers are with the family and ward. How would you ever get over something like this? What about those little boys learning what happened to their Dad?

  • boiseblue
    Aug. 30, 2010 6:22 p.m.

    Why is this not on National News??????

  • Sister Zirkle
    Aug. 30, 2010 6:20 p.m.

    Heavenly Father will comfort and give solace to this Bishop's family. My heart hurts for the Bishops wife and children. However, Heavenly Fathers' eternal promise is there for the family. I pray that Our Lord Jesus Christ wraps this family in his love and compassion. I pray for the shooter as well. Mental illness is a destructive disease that has ended live's here too soon. Blessings to all.

  • 67buggy
    Aug. 30, 2010 6:04 p.m.

    @Chad S:

    Please don't be so ignorant. That world exists every where not just in California. Remember the LDS Family History Library Shooting of the 1980's? Please don't make generalizations. This is a tragedy that could have happened any where in any church. Unfortunately for this man and his family it happened in a LDS Church in California.

  • Mr. Sunkist
    Aug. 30, 2010 6:03 p.m.

    In the early 90's I did an internship for BYU and Deseret Farms in Elberta, Utah. The other internship was given to a young man named Clay Sannar. Every weekday morning for 3 or 4 months we drove from Provo to Elberta completed our assignments and then drove back in the evening.

    During those hours of driving, conversing, and working, I learned that Clay Sannar was a truly talented and intelligent man and that he came from a great family. My thoughts and prayers go out to his young family at this tragic time.

  • Tom Smith
    Aug. 30, 2010 6:03 p.m.

    Excommunication is an interesting philosophy. The circumstances and objectives are well defined in the Handbook of Instructions, but there is HUGE variance in how they are applied from stake to stake, and especially between male and female members. Prejudice is not absent in its application. This may have nothing to do with the case in hand, but it is time to reflect on the emotional trauma that can accompany such action. I wonder if anyone has reached out to this man in the last 25 years?

  • Democrat
    Aug. 30, 2010 5:43 p.m.

    My heart goes out to the bride of this man and his six children. It sounds like he was gunned down in the prime of life. I hope extended family and the community will rally around his family and help them financially and otherwise. Perhaps some good men can become father figures for these six boys.

    This type of murder is highly unusual and I think an LDS meetinghouse (or any house of worship) is still one of the safest places one can be. I hope we will keep that in mind and not allow fear to paralyze our thinking. With 24/7 cable media it seems like somebody's getting shot everyday, but the world is relatively safe compared to even a generation ago. Of course, as LDS in Utah this story strikes a particular chord, but all things considered it’s a rarity. My prayers go out to this family and congregation.

  • Blaine
    Aug. 30, 2010 5:24 p.m.

    A while back, I asked the greeters in my ward what they'd do if somebody came into the chapel with a gun. They responded only with a deer-in-the-headlights look. It seems nobody in the ward (possibly the Church in general) has thought about security other than locking the doors at night.

  • CougarKeith
    Aug. 30, 2010 4:59 p.m.

    That Bishop's Eternal Life is now secure, as his life was taken while in the Service of the Lord, AND HE WILL NOT FORGET THAT! The family needs to remember that, and it needs to know that, and be at peace with that fact! The Gospel is true my friends, it is, and nothing can and will change that fact!

  • Be Practical
    Aug. 30, 2010 4:55 p.m.

    An online fund has been set up by Connor Boyack. Google his name and it will take you to the site.

  • The Caravan Moves On
    Aug. 30, 2010 4:44 p.m.

    How terribly, terribly sad.

    I'm curious to know why this man was so angry at the Church.

    Mental illness may shed some light on the situation but what was it that planted his seed of anger towards the Church over 20 years ago?

    My thoughts and prayers are with Bishop Sannar's family and the shooter's, too.

  • yankee doodle
    Aug. 30, 2010 4:40 p.m.

    We are truly living in the last days, my prayers go out the bishop's family.

  • Chad S
    Aug. 30, 2010 4:29 p.m.

    Holy cow, is no place on earth safe? Just a couple months ago I was sitting in our Church lobby and a lady, evidently a member of another faith or long-time inactive Mormon, came in looking for a Bishop for the street she lived on. I showed her to the other ward's offices and left without another thought. I can't imagine a world where that lady turns around and shoots someone.

    I guess that world exists in California. Do we have to put bars and metal detectors on our doors now?

  • Lane Myer
    Aug. 30, 2010 4:21 p.m.

    Pray for the family of the shooter too.

    They are in misery also.

  • h3tec
    Aug. 30, 2010 4:16 p.m.

    How sad for everyone involved. Our prayers go out to all the families and everyone that knew the bishop and the shooter. Sometimes there is no rhyme nor reason, this may be one of those times.

  • shamrock
    Aug. 30, 2010 4:03 p.m.


    When a shooter is mentally ill, the motive for the shooting isn't necessarily based on anything "real" or understandable by the average person. I wouldn't go looking for any general antagonism at this point. Let's just focus on the terrible loss suffered by the bishop's family and friends.

  • hanyoltimbs
    Aug. 30, 2010 3:59 p.m.

    my prayers are with the family as well as the ward.

    Aug. 30, 2010 2:36 p.m.

    What more can we say but what great sorrow and grief all should feel at such violence. May the certainty of eternity ease the pain. :-(

  • ppoe
    Aug. 30, 2010 2:16 p.m.

    Do things like this happen because of the Anti Mormon dogma that is spread around? Don't tell me it isn't preached, because I have heard it for myself years ago. Of course, the shooter has a mental illness, something a family has to say to make things look better than they are.
    May Heavenly Father bless this Bishops family, his wife and children, his flock, and the community. May they find peace through the Gospel.