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At least Three Killed, One Wounded in Missouri Abbey Shooting

Aired June 10, 2002 - 12:48   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: We want to update you now on a story that we have just learned about moments ago, a little while ago, a breaking story happening in Missouri in Conception Junction, Missouri, a shooting incident, a multiple-shooting incident at a Roman Catholic monastery in a remote rural area of Northwest Missouri. And, as we understand, there are a number of people who have been killed by a gunman there on the grounds the Benedictine monastery there.

We are joined now on the telephone by Capt. Chris Ricks, who is with the Missouri Highway Patrol.

Capt. Ricks, what can you tell us right now about this story?

CAPT. CHRIS RICKS, MISSOURI HIGHWAY PATROL: Well, we have officers on the scene.

About 8:40 this morning, there was a report of a shooting at the abbey there at Conception Junction. It's called Conception Abbey. The Nodaway County Sheriff's Department dispatched people to the scene and requested assistance. We have our special emergency response team on the scene and have the perimeter controlled and doing building searches now.

HARRIS: Can you tell us, do you know how many people were actually on the grounds there at the time?

RICKS: No, I don't know how many are there. Conception Abbey is a Benedictine monastery. And I'm not real sure how many people actually live there or are there each day, though I would guess 50 to 100 people would be there each day.

What we are getting from the scene, which is pretty remote in our state, we think we have at least three fatalities and one injured. But we think the count will go higher.

HARRIS: Boy, that's amazing.

Do you know who the shooter was? Was the shooter a member of the community there?

RICKS: No. We have no idea.

Like I said, we have officers on the scene. The sheriff of Nodaway County will be handling the reports and the investigation. And he is on the scene. And right now, it is pretty confused there, but they think they have it under control.

HARRIS: Were there a number of eyewitnesses?

RICKS: Yes. We have several individuals who did see it occur. And we are talking with them right now to find out exactly whether we have one shooter or more than one shooter and where that shooter might be.

HARRIS: The entire incident, was it contained within one building or, just, was it outside the open grounds?

RICKS: I think it's all within one building, from what we are getting from the scene. There are several buildings on the complex. But, from what we can find out, it has been in one building. And we do have the place sealed off. So, we think we have everything under control up there.

HARRIS: Yes, boy. Any idea of the motive here?

RICKS: None whatsoever.

These are some of the finest individuals you would ever be around up at Conception Abbey. These are the kindest people you ever want to be around. Benedictine monks take a vow of silence. And they are praying for other people. And so it is just kind of shocking that anybody would have anything against these individuals.

HARRIS: I'm thinking the same thing. And considering the fact that this is a very remote part of this state -- as we are looking at pictures there, we can see there really isn't any other -- there aren't any other housings. There are no houses or no other -- really any other people anywhere around this place. You have to wonder why someone would go this far out of the way to do something there, if it is just a random event.

RICKS: That's correct. I have been up there before. And it is a beautiful setting. You come through the cornfields and the abbey sits up on kind of a knoll, with trees all around it. It is just a beautiful setting and one of the most serene, peaceful places can you imagine.

HARRIS: Boy. Well, we will be watching to see how this story plays out.

Capt. Chris Ricks of the Missouri Highway Patrol there with the current information that three have been killed there at Conception Junction in the Conception Abbey there. We will continue to follow that story.

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