An 18-year-old missionary serving in Alabama was in serious but stable condition after being shot multiple times Friday, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Saturday.
Michael Fauber of Dayton, Ohio, was shot in the Birmingham Stake Center (a regional meetinghouse) in Vestavia Hills, where a weekly athletic activity was being held. He was with two other missionaries and a group of people interested in learning more about the church.
At approximately 8:30 p.m., Fauber spoke with an unknown individual who came into the building. This person then drew a gun, shot Fauber multiple times and fled.
Fauber was taken to UAB hospital in Birmingham and underwent surgery. His parents were expected to arrive at the hospital Saturday afternoon.
The other missionaries in the building were not harmed but are receiving counseling. The church was waiting for more information from investigators.
“Our prayers are with this missionary, his family and all the missionaries and others impacted by this senseless act of violence,” church spokesman Sam Penrod said in a new release.
An announcement released Friday night from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in Alabama offered no additional details.
The shooting comes just weeks after two gunmen held up 70 missionaries in Mexico during a routine meeting. Several of the 13 sisters and 57 elders were hit or kicked, while the mission president and his wife were threatened with a knife.
Additionally, 10 Latter-day Saints have died this year while serving full-time missions for the Salt Lake City-based faith.
In July, a 20-year-old missionary from Utah and his 20-year-old companion from Montana were killed in a head-on collision in New Mexico.
Earlier that month, 60-year-old mission President José Maria Batalla, a native of Argentina, died of cardiac arrest after battling COVID-19 for two months. He had been overseeing the Bolivia Cochabamba Mission.
In May, an 18-year-old missionary from Utah and his 20-year-old companion from Colorado were killed in a head-on collision in Denton, Texas.
In March, a 21-year-old missionary drowned in his homeland of El Salvador and a 48-year-old mission president in the Philippines died of an apparent heart attack.
In January, a 24-year-old elder serving in his home country of Haiti died after being admitted to a hospital with “health complications”; a 19-year-old elder from Utah was killed in a car crash in Arkansas; and a 20-year-old Nigerian serving a mission in his homeland died after a “sudden health episode (unrelated to COVID-19).”
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