Fundies and handguns don’t mix.
The police said Monday that they were increasingly focused on religion as the motive for a man’s murderous rampage through a church service on Saturday at a suburban Milwaukee hotel, promising a full investigation even though the killings ended in suicide.
“We believe that the motive has something to do with the church and the church services more so than any other possible motive,” Capt. Phil Horter of the Brookfield, Wis., Police Department said at a news conference on Monday. “We’re looking at the church totality, whether it’s members of the church, members of the hierarchy of the church, the sermons of the church,” he added.
The Living Church of God, an offshoot of a sect seen by some as a cult, the Worldwide Church of God, is a fringe group that advocates literal adherence to the Bible, observes a Saturday Sabbath, rejects the Holy Trinity concept and frequently focuses on a coming apocalypse. The national director of church administration, Charles Bryce, disputed reports about Mr. Ratzmann’s angry departure from the Feb. 26 service but declined to discuss that week’s videotaped sermon.
Tapes of several 911 calls from church members reveal chaos, with people wailing and screaming in the background.
“All of a sudden we heard bang like a firecracker, but it was so loud and then again and again,” the woman continued. “My husband pushed me down to the floor, my son. We all went to the floor, everybody.
“Right after this we’re having a potluck and then an entertainment show this evening,” she added. “I think it’s all on hold.”