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Posted: 8/12/2007 8:12:51 PM EDT
3 Dead as Gunman Opens Fire in Missouri Church
Sunday , August 12, 2007

Associated Press

NEOSHA, Mo. —

A gunman opened fire at a congregation of Pacific Islanders attending services in the sanctuary of a southwest Missouri church Sunday, killing three people and wounding several others, authorities said.

One of the victims was Kernal Rehobson, 44, of Goodman, the pastor of the predominantly Micronesian worshippers who were holding the service at the First Congregational Church, police said.

The other two victims were male members of the congregation, whose names were not released, The Joplin Globe reported.

About 25 to 50 people were briefly held hostage at the church until the gunman surrendered, Neosho spokeswoman Desiree Bridges said.

Dave McCracken, Neosho police chief, estimated about four or five people were wounded, but several others who were injured fled the scene.

Rehobson was shot multiple times and was dead at the scene, Newton County Coroner Mark Bridges said.

Sunday evening, coroner's office personnel and the Missouri State Highway Patrol were seen moving two covered bodies from the brick-and-white trim church in downtown Neosho into a waiting funeral parlor van.

The shooter was being held at the Newton County Jail, but police were not releasing any information about him. Bridges said the suspect was related to someone in the church, but declined to elaborate. No charges had been filed Sunday, McCracken said.

McCracken said the gunman had two small-caliber handguns and one 9 mm semi-automatic machine pistol with a large magazine.

The shooting followed the 1 p.m. service, which was attended by about 50 people, ranging in age from children to the elderly. The church opened its doors for the group of worshipers, who are from the Pacific Islands and have a service in Spanish, said Patty Mendoza, 35, whose friend attends the service.

"There are quite a few of them (in Neosho)," Mendoza said. "There are a lot of islanders that come here. It's terrible. I can't imagine what it was about."

The gunman surrendered to authorities after about 10 minutes of negotiation.

"At the time that the rescue attempt was successful we had approximately 20 people in the sanctuary still," he said. "We had some people who escaped the crime scene prior to the police arrival that were wounded, and we had some people escape during the process and at the time of the rescue."

He said no one was injured during the arrest.

McCracken said he could not confirm if the gunman was a member of the church. But he said an incident involving the suspect and a family that attended the First Congregational Church on Saturday night fueled the incident Sunday.

"At this point though, we don't have any information more than that," McCracken said. "The incident happened in the county, but I do not have this information at this time."

Calls to the church went unanswered.

McCracken said the identities of the deceased were being withheld.

"This is a terrible tragedy which was made worse by the fact that it happened in a peaceful place of faith and worship," Gov. Matt Blunt said in a press release issued Sunday evening.

Link Posted: 8/12/2007 8:15:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/12/2007 8:16:44 PM EDT
To prevent further tragedies like this one, .GOV should ban the following-

1. All 9mm firearms
2. All semi-automatic firearms
3. All machine pistols
4. All large magazines

For the children.
Link Posted: 8/12/2007 8:17:18 PM EDT
Another fine case of those gun free zones working out just great for the murderers.

My heart goes out to the victims and families.
Link Posted: 8/12/2007 8:28:05 PM EDT
That is ashame!!!!!
We have been going to church regular for afew years now. I always carry at church, since I carry every else too. One day the Pastor was going on about gun laws and such. He was saying so much pro gun stuff that I showed him my carry permit. He smiled and pulled out his wallet and showed me his.....lol I though that was pretty cool.
We left that church afew weeks ago (they are a very Bible beliving Baptist church, but there views on somethings got on my nerves, but I still like that pastor alot)

The only problem is at the new church we have been going to, they are kind of huggy people.
In the last 7 or so years I have been carrying I have changed the way i dress and pick stuff up ect..... well afew sundays ago one of the older guys there gave me a hug (he is a ex-marine... so it WAS a manly hug lol) and his hand smacked my pistol : (

so now I put my arm down agaist my side. But i didnt like that happing.
I never was hugged by anyone other than my wife , mom or daughter so I wasn't prepared
for that problem

back to my point- I will not second guess carrying at church (not that I ever did)
Link Posted: 8/12/2007 8:33:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By rugerp345:
To prevent further tragedies like this one, .GOV should ban the following-

1. All 9mm firearms
2. All semi-automatic firearms
3. All machine pistols
4. All large magazines

For the children.


With all these church shootings, I think government ought to ban churches.

For the children.
Link Posted: 8/12/2007 8:39:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ninetenn11:
That is ashame!!!!!
We have been going to church regular for afew years now. I always carry at church, since I carry every else too. One day the Pastor was going on about gun laws and such. He was saying so much pro gun stuff that I showed him my carry permit. He smiled and pulled out his wallet and showed me his.....lol I though that was pretty cool.
We left that church afew weeks ago (they are a very Bible beliving Baptist church, but there views on somethings got on my nerves, but I still like that pastor alot)

The only problem is at the new church we have been going to, they are kind of huggy people.
In the last 7 or so years I have been carrying I have changed the way i dress and pick stuff up ect..... well afew sundays ago one of the older guys there gave me a hug (he is a ex-marine... so it WAS a manly hug lol) and his hand smacked my pistol : (

so now I put my arm down agaist my side. But i didnt like that happing.
I never was hugged by anyone other than my wife , mom or daughter so I wasn't prepared
for that problem

back to my point- I will not second guess carrying at church (not that I ever did)


I never understood why so many states put "Houses of worship" on the list of places that are taboo for CCW. The churches are free to make their own determinations without the state's intervention; just like a private business. It seemed ironic to me that they would recognize the individual's right and need for self defense, yet make exercising that right specifically incompatable with the right to free exercise of religion.

"You have the right to both .... so pick one."
Link Posted: 8/12/2007 8:43:54 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/12/2007 9:00:37 PM EDT
I carried at church today . we hardly ever go and our daughter wanted us to go (she goes with her grandparrents alot). I carried today and my wife asked why I was .

I need to show her this thread.

Link Posted: 8/12/2007 9:15:50 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/12/2007 9:28:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/12/2007 9:28:57 PM EDT by WildBoar]

Originally Posted By Thorgrim:
Another fine case of those gun free zones working out just great for the murderers.

My heart goes out to the victims and families.


Since when is a church a gun free zone? Must be one of those commie states.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 7:25:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By WildBoar:

Originally Posted By Thorgrim:
Another fine case of those gun free zones working out just great for the murderers.

My heart goes out to the victims and families.


Since when is a church a gun free zone? Must be one of those commie states.


They are gun free zones in lots of places, or at least off-limits to people with CCW permits.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 7:28:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ThatGuy91K:


Prayers sent for the families who lost loved ones.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 7:31:22 AM EDT
Are churches considered schools because they have
classrooms therefore making them gun free.
I CCW'd every Sunday when I resided in FL.
Pastor did not mind at all.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 7:32:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MTUSA:
Are churches considered schools because they have
classrooms therefore making them gun free.


No...

Usually they are specified by statute.



I CCW'd every Sunday when I resided in FL.
Pastor did not mind at all.


I routinely carry in church at the request of the church leadership as well....Nobody knows what "good and sufficient cause" means in the Virginia statute because it's never been tested to my knowledge.
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