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Chief Wick's Talking Points From December 10 News Conference

Talking Points
Chief Wick
News Conference: December 10, 2007

On Sunday, December 9, just after 12:30 a.m. four people were shot by a lone gunman at the Youth With A Mission center at 12750 W. 63rd Avenue. An extensive search of the area immediately ensued; however, a suspect wasn’t located.

Those killed in the attack are as follows:
26-year-old Tiffany Johnson
24-year-old Phillip Crouse

Those injured are:
23-year-old Dan Griebenow
22-year-old Charlie Blanch

This has been a rapidly developing situation. Members of the Arvada Police Department have worked tirelessly to locate the person or persons responsible for the shootings in Arvada.  Based on information obtained during the course of the investigation, we believe Matthew Murray is responsible for the crime.

Within the past 30 minutes (3:30 pm on 12/10), testing has confirmed the weapon found at the church in Colorado Springs is forensically linked to shell casings found at the crime scene in Arvada.

Other compelling pieces of information connecting Matthew Murray to Arvada’s shootings:

  • In 2002, Murray was associated with the “Youth with A Mission” organization in Arvada…we are currently investigating the reasons for his departure from the group. 
  • The physical description of Matthew Murray matched the description of the shooter in Arvada.
  • Based on evidence obtained at Matthew Murray’s residence…and interviews conducted with Murray’s family…detectives gathered additional information to support the belief he is responsible for the shootings.
  • More than 50 interviews were conducted immediately following the shootings. As a result of those interviews many leads were developed in the hours following the shootings which were assigned to detectives for follow up.  One of the many tips received was about Matthew Murray.  Detectives were beginning to pursue that lead… as well as many others…at the time the shootings occurred in Colorado Springs.

General Information:
Members of the Arvada Police Department did not respond to the Murray residence until AFTER the shootings in Colorado Springs.

Although there is no indication there are other suspects involved in the shootings, we will continue to investigate the case in the days and weeks to come.

We want to offer comfort to the Arvada community that the key person responsible for these shootings has been identified.

The men and women of the Arvada Police Department were heroic in their response to the shootings and subsequent investigation. We are a police department that is committed to the safety of our community to ensure our residents enjoy a quality of life they expect and deserve.

I have had conversations with some of the victims’ families and have expressed condolences on behalf of the community, City of Arvada and the Arvada Police Department as a whole.

Where We Go From Here:
A team of detectives will continue to investigate the crime.

We will continue to coordinate efforts with the Colorado Springs Police Department regarding this investigation.

We wanted to express our thanks to the many local, state and federal agencies providing assistance to the Arvada Police Department in recent days.