LDS missionary serious but stable and improving after being shot multiple times
An investigation continued Monday into the shooting of a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Friday evening in Jefferson County, Alabama.
According to information released Saturday from the church, Elder Michael Fauber, 18, of Dayton, Ohio, was in the Birmingham Stake Center in Vestavia Hills with two other missionaries and a group of people interested in learning more about the church.
“A weekly athletic activity was being held and basketball was being played in the cultural hall,” said Sam Penrod, church spokesman. “At approximately 8:30 p.m. Elder Fauber spoke with an unknown individual who came into the building during the activity. A few moments later, Elder Fauber was shot multiple times. The shooter then fled.”
Authorities say they are looking for a very thin Black man who is approximately 6 feet, 7 inches tall. They believe he is in his mid-20s, according to local media reports. Witnesses were being interviewed at the scene.
Fauber was taken to the University of Alabama at Birmingham hospital, where he underwent surgery. His condition was upgraded Monday to serious but stable and improving, according to Penrod.
His parents arrived Saturday in Birmingham to be with their son.
Other missionaries in the building were not physically hurt but are receiving counseling. Any missionary, for instance a former missionary companion in the mission or members, may also receive counseling if needed.
The church is cooperating with law enforcement and is awaiting more details.
“The circumstances are still vague,” said Sgt. Joni Money, spokeswoman for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office. “The suspect has not been apprehended and the investigation is in the hands of the sheriff’s detective unit.”
“Our prayers are with this missionary, his family and all the missionaries and others impacted by this senseless act of violence,” Penrod said.
With 54,000 missionaries currently serving in the church, safety is a concern. In November, missionaries were evacuated from Ethiopia due to civil unrest. Earlier this year, three missionaries were killed in two separate car accidents, two missionaries serving in New Mexico and one serving in Arkansas.