Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Several people shot at gay affirming church in Knoxville, Tennessee

Church services were disrupted Sunday at a gay-affirming church in Knoxville when a lone gunman opened fire killing at least one person, and wounded several more.

Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, 2931 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, was the site of the vicious attack. It occurred while a group of children were singing for the congregation when the gunman opened fire. The children were staring in a production of "Annie" that was taking place as part of the normal Sunday service at the time of the shooting.

A member of the congregation wrote in a national blog that the church just recently put up a sign welcoming gays. One of the goals of the church's long range plan is to
"Increase congregational participation in human rights programs for
gay/lesbian/transgendered persons."

Seven people have been injured. Two have died. Two were treated and released and five remain in critical or serious condition at UT Medical Center. Police found a multi-page, handwritten letter in the vehicle of the suspect.

The Associated Press has reported that Knoxville's police chief says the man accused of a shooting that killed two people at a Tennessee church targeted the congregation because of its liberal social stance. Chief Sterling Owen IV said Monday that police found a letter in Jim D. Adkisson's car. Owen said Adkisson was apparently frustrated over being out of work and had a "stated hatred of the liberal movement." The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that Chief Owen said the letter stated his "hatred of the liberal movement," Owen said. "Liberals in general, as well as gays."


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