Austin Gunman Linked To Extremist Christian Group, Police Say

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By Molly Hennessy-Fiske LATimes.com

Austin gunman

Austin gunman Laura Skelding / Austin American-Statesman Investigators record the scene where a gunman shot at least 100 rounds into buildings in downtown Austin, including the Mexican consulate and the federal courthouse.

Larry Steven McQuilliams, who fired more than 100 gunshots at government offices in Austin, Texas, last week until he was killed by police, was a “homegrown American extremist” connected to a right-wing Christian group, police said Monday.

“He had hate in his heart,” Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said.

McQuilliams, 49, belonged to the Phineas Priesthood, police said, describing the organization as a white supremacist group based in the Pacific Northwest that is responsible for armed robberies, abortion clinic bombings and planned attacks on FBI buildings.

He served time for a 1992 armed robbery and was released in 2000, police said, but acted alone in carefully planning Friday’s attack.

Days earlier, McQuilliams had rented a white van and packed it with supplies, including several guns, ammunition, a gas mask, homemade explosives, a list of 34 targets (among them two churches) and a book, “Vigilantes of Christendom,” in which he left a note describing himself as a priest against “anti-God people,” Acevedo said.

The first shots were reported at 2:18 a.m. Friday as bar patrons were spilling into the streets of downtown Austin, the state capital. The shooter targeted police headquarters, a federal courthouse and the Mexican Consulate.

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