Shooting Incident at Family History Library

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“Shooting Incident at Family History Library,” Ensign, June 1999, 76

Shooting Incident at Family History Library

Just before 10:30 A.M. on Thursday, 15 April 1999, a mentally unstable 71-year-old gunman opened fire inside the Church’s main Family History Library™ located across the street from Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Killed were 62-year-old security guard Donald Thomas of West Jordan, Utah, and 55-year-old library patron Patricia Irene Frengs of Pleasant Hills, California; three other people and one police officer were injured. The gunman was killed during a standoff with police.

The First Presidency issued the following statement: “We are saddened by the terrible tragedy which occurred at our Family History Library this morning, in which three people were killed, including an employee of the Church. It is incomprehensible that innocent people pursuing a peaceful pastime of tracing their family history could be the victims of such a senseless attack as we have seen today. We extend our love and blessings to all who have suffered by reason of these sad and disturbing events and express deep regret over such tragic circumstances. Our hearts reach out in sorrow to the innocent victims of this tragedy and their families.”