Two killed in gun attack on US church supportive of gay rights

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

A gunman who killed two people when he opened fire on a Tennessee Unitarian Church over the weekend said he targeted the church because he hated gays and liberals.

Jim Adkisson opened fire on the church crowd at just after 10am on Sunday, while children from the Sunday school were performing the musical Annie.

The liberal church is an active supporter of gay and human rights.

“The shotgun-wielding suspect in Sunday’s mass shooting at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church was motivated by a hatred of ‘the liberal movement,’ and he planned to shoot until police shot him,” Knoxville Police Chief Sterling P. Owen IV told the Knoxville Sentinal.

According to, Adkisson did not plan to leave the church alive. According to a police report, “officers recovered 76 shells for a 12-gauge, semiautomatic shotgun inside the church … he certainly intended to take a lot of casualties.”

Police obtained a letter written by Adkisson from his SUV, which was parked in the church lot.

In the four-page letter, he expressed his ‘hatred of the liberal movement.’

According to authorities, Adkisson had been planning the shooting for about a week.

Adkisson is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 60-year-old Greg McKendry and 61-year-old Linda Kraeger, who was visiting the church from Westside Unitarian Universalist Church.

© 2008; All Rights Reserved.