A full-time missionary is hospitalized in serious but stable condition after he was shot multiple times in a Birmingham-area meetinghouse Friday evening, according to a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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 when the shooting occurred, according to a statement by Sam Penrod, church spokesman.
A weekly athletic activity was being held and basketball was being played in the cultural hall. An unknown individual came into the building during the activity and Elder Fauber spoke with him at approximately 8:30 p.m. A few moments later, Elder Fauber was shot multiple times and the shooter fled, the statement said.
Deputies from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department were called to the 2700 block of Altadena Road in unincorporated Jefferson County, to investigate shots fired, according to an incident report.
“Upon arrival, they discovered that a male entered the gymnasium at that location, where a group of teenagers was playing basketball and fired shots,” the report said. “Detectives are on the scene and actively conducting a full investigation.”
Elder Fauber was taken to UAB Hospital in Birmingham and has undergone surgery. His parents were scheduled to arrive at the hospital Saturday afternoon.
Other missionaries in the building were not physically hurt but are receiving counseling. The church is cooperating with law enforcement and is awaiting additional details from investigators.
“Our prayers are with this missionary, his family and all the missionaries and others impacted by this senseless act of violence,” Penrod said.