Lane Co. sheriff: fatal shooting at O...

Lane Co. sheriff: fatal shooting at Ore. church

There are 27 comments on the Statesman Journal story from May 13, 2010, titled Lane Co. sheriff: fatal shooting at Ore. church. In it, Statesman Journal reports that:

Lane County sheriff's officers and Oregon State Police are hunting for a gunman who fatally shot another man Wednesday night at a church in the small Oregon town of Lowell.

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Yorba Linda, CA

#24 May 19, 2010
florida native wrote:
<quoted text>
While that makes sence (not an excuse, just sence), where did you read/hear about this?
Whatever the reason it's very sad. I'm sure all the reasons will come out in trial or in sentencing if he pleads guilty.
I do feel bad for the elders that had to witness this crime. I'm sure they will never get it out of their head.

New York, NY

#25 May 19, 2010
Hoodwinked wrote:
<quoted text>
Whatever the reason it's very sad. I'm sure all the reasons will come out in trial or in sentencing if he pleads guilty.
I do feel bad for the elders that had to witness this crime. I'm sure they will never get it out of their head.
Maybe the society will pay for their counseling sessions. Snicker, snicker. NOT!.........TPMP

Yorba Linda, CA

#26 May 22, 2010

EUGENE, Ore.--Nearly 700 people gathered to remember a Lowell man murdered in his own place of worship 10 days ago.

47-year-old Kenneth Mort was allegedly shot to death by his ex-wife's husband.

"He put himself out there for everyone. Even if you weren't a blood relative, you were family to Ken if he knew you," said Mort's first cousin, Matthew Johnson of Oregon City.

That family of nearly 700 packed the Wheeler Pavilion at the Lane County Fairgrounds to honor the man fellow Jehovah's Witness leaders called "humble, generous, and earnest about keeping life simple."

Kenneth Mort was also, they say, a true man of God.

"Always very faithful to the lord," Johnson said.

Johnson said it's a faith Mort took hold of when he was young, and never turned his back on.

"Even as a child, when we were kids, he was the one who always had the faith when the rest of us would stray. Someone kept me straight here when I got older."

But Mort's strong committment to the Jehovah's Witnesses makes his brutal murder that much harder for fellow members and his family to grasp. Mort was allegedly shot to death in his place of worship--the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Lowell--by his ex-wife's husband, Robert Riley Gonzales. Gonzales is the step-father of Mort's two only children, according to a family friend.

"Having it done this way, losing him this way, it's unfair to all of us, it's unfair to his family, his kids, I feel so sorry for the kids," Johnson said, choking up.

For a group so dedicated to God, the service centered on dealing with Mort's fate.

"I have bad thoughts for the individual who caused these events, and I ask for forgiveness for those thoughts," Johnson said.

It's an action others were asked to do, because as the elders say, it's what Ken would have done.

"I know where he's at, we all know where he's at, and it's a better place than here."

Mort's fellow Jehovah's Witness elders say it's not just Mort's family they're trying to comfort, but also Gonzales' family.

Gonzales used to be a member of their small congregation in Lowell, and they say being there for both families makes this even more difficult.

Gonzales has plead not guilty to charges of intentional murder and kidnapping for allegedly using a gun to force Mort and four other men back into the building before the shooting.

Authorities still have not disclosed a possible motive.

Ashland, OR

#27 May 23, 2010
More proof that god is dead, or at least not very concerned about his followers.
Everytime I hear the prase---our father in heaven---I think---dead beat dad !!!

Manchester, KY

#28 Jun 13, 2013
Well you can say that God DIDNT protect Them!. Perhaps they blasphemed Him before. I know about the Third commandment!!!. You know, I once asked God for a wife, 5 months later, He gave me a wh**e!. I do admit, I did used to blaspheme God a couple years on down before this but I stopped this. I figured this is the reason God raped me. Since God did not answer me properly and gave me that rotten wh**e on top of that, I started my blaspheming Him back with a vengence!!!. I lay it on old God now, HAHAHA!!!. If God DIDNT want to give me a wife, He sure as Hell DIDNT have to give me a rotten wh**e!!!!!. Aneyway, I blaspheme God more then ever now and I don't care if I do go burn forever, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!. GIVE ME ANOTHER WH**E GOD!!!!!!!...

Portland, OR

#29 Jun 16, 2013
Everyone has their own version of events, stories, speculation. Normally we avoid discussing personal matters of others and don't want to get caught up in gossip. Domestic disputes involving children can get emotionally charged and people feel the need to vent. But when it goes fatal it helps to understand why, what led to it and how it can be avoided in the future.

This didn't happen on a meeting night. Neither was it your regular elders meeting. Had the reason for the meeting of these elders that evening been made known and what exactly they had been discussing, that might help define what led to this tragedy.

The night ended with the childrens natural father being killed, he was also an elder in the Oakridge congregation. According to addresses both parties lived in the Oakridge congregations territory. The fact that the other brother with his wife and children chose to attend the congregation all the way down in Springfield indicates issues between them were not completely "resolved". If they had been then all would worship in same congregation where the children could be at meetings with both parents who lived in the same territory and not making the long drive from Oakridge to Springfield. Both families regularly attended meetings and were active members of their respective congregations. Therefore I speculate; elders who knew of and had been assigned to deal with the issues surrounding these two parties know exactly what happened and why or what if any provoked this fatal event.

What was the purpose for the meeting of these elders that evening? Don't know why 'these particular elders' were meeting? But the natural father was present, the step father lived near that Kingdom Hall in Oakridge, it's a small town, he knew they were there.

After this occurred congregation members were told not to talk to the media, but to refer them to specific elders.

Some in the congregations did talk among themselves (otherwise known as gossip, whether true or not it's still gossip) as they were aware of some things.

It was said prior to this, one of these brothers (unknown which one?) was accusing the other of something and which the other denied. Who knows what the accusations were if any, but these two brothers had unresolved issues since the one had married the others previous wife. It was told that the brother who was an elder believed the other two had gotten together prior to the divorce.

Child custody was involved which also affects child support payments. Sometimes people will do and say horrendous things to threaten and pursue things legally. Elders as shepherds of the flock should only encourage people to apply the principles of Gods word in all affairs of life and not be brought into the legal affairs domestic disputes nor allow themselves to get involved or even take sides. If they maintained that reputation or not I do not know.

My personal view on this is that both parties maybe even including the elders contributed to the outcome which took everyone (community and congregations) by surprise, leaving everyone in shock: children without a natural father and a step father in prison for murder, a mother and wife without a spouse to support her emotionally/spiritually/and financially.

This was very devastating then and I'm certain still affects this family today.

I do hope the children can successfully survive the outcome and come to realize that whatever happened or led to this, it should never be accounted to them. Adults need to act like adults, children they are the true victims of such tragedy.

Portland, OR

#30 Jun 16, 2013
correction: not Oakridge Congregation, it was the Lowell congregation. The Oakridge is further south from Lowell and Springfield. Typically the drive from Lowell is 25 mins.

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