Two arrested in shooting that injured Latter-day Saint missionary in Alabama

Dec 14, 2021, 1:14 PM
Cornelius Omar-James Knight, 22, and Courtney Lee Knight, 18. (Jefferson County Sheriff's Office)...
Cornelius Omar-James Knight, 22, and Courtney Lee Knight, 18. (Jefferson County Sheriff's Office)
(Jefferson County Sheriff's Office)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A man accused of shooting a missionary at a meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Alabama has been arrested, according to officials with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities said Courtney Lee Knight, 18, was taken into custody on Tuesday and booked into jail on attempted murder charges. He was being held on a $60,000 bond.

According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Knight walked into a stake center near the city of Vestavia Hills, which is south of Birmingham, on Dec. 3 and went to the meetinghouse’s gym where he found a small group, including three missionaries, playing basketball.

“There were just several missionaries and then some friends that were there playing church ball and having some gospel discussions. Just a normal evening,” said Barry Sadler, stake president of the Birmingham Alabama Stake, which includes eight congregations and about 3,000 members of the Church.

Missionary in serious but stable condition after being shot multiple times

Shortly after, deputies said Knight opened fire.

Elder Michael Fauber, 18, of Dayton, Ohio, was struck multiple times and was taken to an area hospital, where he underwent surgery. Investigators said Fauber’s condition is improving and he is expected to recover from his injuries.

“You think of churches as being places of security — a place of peace and worship and where there can be love and kindness and respect — and so, it’s shocking that it has happened,” Sadler said.

A warrant was issued for Knight’s arrest by the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office and agents with the U.S. Marshals Service took Knight into custody Tuesday.

Authorities also arrested Cornelius Omar-James Knight, 22, for hindering the investigation. He was booked into the Jefferson County Jail and his bond was set at $15,000.

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Two arrested in shooting that injured Latter-day Saint missionary in Alabama