Sign up for Meridian’s Free Newsletter, please CLICK HERE
The following is excerpted from the Deseret News. To read the full article, click here.
As the emblems of the sacrament were being passed during the Fallon 3rd Ward’s church meeting early Sunday afternoon 60 miles east of Reno, Nevada, John Kelly O’Connor sat on a couch in the west foyer just outside the chapel with members of his LDS congregation who had arrived late for the meeting.
When the sacrament service was complete and as the meeting’s first speaker began to talk, O’Connor, 48, stood up, walked through the chapel’s west door, drew a handgun and at point-blank range shot and killed Bert Miller, 61, the man who for years had been assigned by ward leaders to serve him and watch over him, witnesses and police said.
“I don’t know why you’d ever want to shoot Bert Miller. He’s the nicest guy in the world,” said Rich Hutchings, a ward member. “It’s absolutely shocking.”
Miller died in an apparent hail of bullets. Witnesses reported hearing four to eight shots from a powerful handgun.
“Pandemonium broke out,” ward member Steve White said. “People were screaming and hitting the ground.”
“It was very loud,” Hutchings said.
White said he heard four to five shots. Hutchings said he didn’t count, but thought it might have been more.
Both men were on the east side of the chapel when the shooting began. White said he looked up and saw a man in a dark blue shirt leave through the chapel doors on the west side of the building. He remembered greeting O’Connor in the hallway before the meeting and that O’Connor had been wearing a dark blue shirt.
One bullet struck another man, who was visiting the congregation from out of state. The bullet struck him in the leg. Police said the injury is not considered to be life-threatening.
To read the full article, click here.