Two Mormon missionaries gunned down in Virginia

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Wednesday, January 4, 2006

The Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, the most well known Mormon temple, owned by the Latter-day Saints.

The new year started off on a violent note in Chesapeake, Virginia, when, just after 6 p.m. EST on January 2nd, two missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were shot. The missionaries had apparently parked their bicycles to begin door-to-door proselytizing when they were approached and fired upon by an unidentified assailant.

The men, ages 21 and 19, were both hit. One of the individuals was killed, and the other is in good condition at a nearby hospital. Although there has been some speculation that the missionaries were shot because they may have witnessed a crime, no specific details are available at this time. The gunman, described as a 5'10" black male, escaped on foot.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has approximately 56,000 young men and women performing full-time missionary work throughout the world. Missionary work is done on a volunteer basis, and young men are expected to serve a mission shortly after their 19th birthday. Male missionaries remain in the field for two years unless there are extenuating circumstances.

The murder was Chesapeake's first such crime of 2006. There were 15 murders in the city in 2005.