Church Shooting Victims' Family Speaks Out

The Works describe the horror of the scene and their determination to forgive.

ByABC News via logo
February 26, 2009, 7:53 PM

Dec. 21, 2007 — -- Twelve days after a deranged gunman opened fire in a church parking lot killing their two daughters, devout Christians David and Marie Works said they "have no reason to hate the guy."

Stephanie and Rachel Works were among those murdered when Matthew Murray went hunting for Christians at a school for missionaries and a large church.

After the Sunday service at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, the Works family was getting into their minivan on their way to get burgers and shakes. Suddenly, Murray loomed in the parking lot and opened fire on the family.

"I believe I heard a pop. I looked over my shoulder and saw a guy in black, with an assault rifle," David Works told "Good Morning America." "And he turned and pointed it at us. I screamed at everybody to get down, that there's a shooter out there."

The next thing Works remembers was seeing his 16-year-old daughter Rachel and trying to rush toward her. "She fell back onto the pavement. I saw him again point the gun and, uh felt my belly rip, and fell to the pavement, not having gotten to Rachel all the way."

Meanwhile his wife, Marie Works, was tending to Stephanie, the couple's 18-year-old daughter, who was slumped over in her seat.

"I saw lots of blood coming out of her nose. And I thought, she's been hit in the head, that -- and then I started to look for a pulse and I couldn't find a pulse. And I was fairly sure that she was gone," Marie remembers thinking."

Despite the horror of what happened, the Works say their faith is letting them forgive.

"I knew she was in heaven. I knew she was dead, you know. I didn't have -- I wasn't sad at that point because I knew she was in a good place. And I have no reason to hate the guy," said Marie.

"I think if my girls didn't know God, and I didn't know where they were going after they died, and had that assurance, I know I probably couldn't [forgive]."

David Works' seconded his wife's forgiveness, explaining that it was required by his devotion to God.

"About 22 years ago I gave my life to God and that meant everything. I just didn't know it was this much," Works said, breaking down in tears. "But that's OK. Because I gave my life to God, that meant everything."