Gunman at Hill Cumorah fires 22 shots, no one injured at Latter-day Saint visitors’ center
Early reports say two bullets struck the center. Police are still searching for the shooter.
A shooter fired as many as two dozen rounds from a treeline, twice striking the Hill Cumorah Visitors’ Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Manchester, New York on Wednesday afternoon, the Finger Lakes Times reported.
About 80 people were at the visitors’ center at the time of the shooting, according to the report. The news outlet said the gunfire triggered a massive police response, including a SWAT team, but the shooter had not been found.
Other outlets said as many as 100 more visitors were on grounds.
Ontario County sheriff’s personnel said more than 22 shots were fired at the building, according to police radio traffic, the Times reported.
New York State Police have jurisdiction but are not yet providing any information. Officers are still on the scene and a press briefing at the site is expected this evening, a trooper told the Deseret News.
“This afternoon, several shots were fired at or near the Hill Cumorah Visitors’ Center in Palmyra, New York,” church spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a statement. “Gratefully, no injuries have been reported. At this hour, there is little information available. Inquiries about details should be directed to local law enforcement.”
The Hill Cumorah is the place where Joseph Smith met annually with the angel Moroni from 1823 to 1827. The first president and prophet of the church said the angel allowed him to obtain the golden plates from which the Book of Mormon would be translated on Sept. 22, 1827.
A monument at the top of the hill commemorates the events that took place there.
News media outlets gathered at the scene and some reporters have tweeted out photos and video.
One woman told the East Idaho News that she was at the visitors’ center when the shooting took place and that there was a busload of 100 children one the sprawling grounds of around the visitors’ center on a tour.
Another person said on Twitter that his daughter was serving the first day of her mission on at the visitors’ center today. He said the visitors’ inside the center knelt and prayed together.
Prayers for the people at the Hill Cumorah visitors center please. Someone with a gun shot into the apartment building next door. My daughter is on her literal FIRST day in the field. 70+ visitors kneeling in prayer and all are safe. Police on scene. pic.twitter.com/jniT8KQf4J— Nathan Miles (@nilesbay) June 8, 2022
The Hill Cumorah is about three miles from the Smith family home and the Sacred Grove, where Joseph Smith reported that God the Father and Jesus Christ visited him in 1820.