Nov 3, 2015 3:22 PM by News Staff
The man accused of killing three people in Colorado Springs over the weekend posted a blog about his father’s connection to a church in Redding, just two days before Saturday’s shooting spree.
The accused shooter is 33-year-old Noah Jacob Harpham. Witnesses say Harpham had a rifle in one hand and a revolver in the other when he killed a bicyclist on Saturday. He then walked less than a mile and fatally shot two women who were on a porch of a sober living home. Witnesses say he was then killed in a gun battle with police.
In a blog posted last Thursday, Harpham questioned his father, Thomas Harpham’s involvement with the Rev. Bill Johnson and the Bethel Church in Redding. In a video and written post Harpham gave no indication he was planning violence.
When reached for comment Tuesday, church officials declined to comment on whether Harpham’s feelings about Bethel may have been a motive.
Senior church leader, Pastor Danny Farrelly said in a written statement to Action News Now, “Thomas Harpham is an active and valued part of our church family and has been for several years”.
Farrelly says a couple of Bethel’s pastors met Noah at a party for his father several years ago, but they don’t know if he ever attended the church.
Farrelly’s reaction to the shooting is “stunned, horrified, angry and deeply, deeply grieving for the victims, their loved ones and the city of Colorado Springs. As well, we love Thomas, a grieving and dismayed parent who is devastated by the behavior of his adult child.”
The Bethel Church is part of a stream of Pentecostalism that has come under criticism from conservative Christians who say Johnson promotes teachings far beyond the boundaries of mainstream Christianity, according to the Associated Press.
The blog Noah Harpham posted is titled “Is my dad in a satanic cult?” To which Farrelly says, “We are a large local church, that has grown in the last 15 years. Our statement of faith is consistent with charismatic/evangelical churches.”
2 days ago