2 men arrested in shooting of 18-year-old LDS missionary at Alabama church

Courtney Lee Knight, 18, (right) was arrested on Dec. 14, 2021, after allegedly entering a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building and shooting an 18-year-old missionary. Cornelius Omar-James Knight, 22, (left) was charged with hindering the prosecution of the case. | Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

A teenager has been arrested for the shooting of a Latter-day Saints missionary at a church in Alabama, while another man was arrested for allegedly hindering the investigation.  

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that officers arrested 18-year-old Courtney Lee Knight, charging him with the attempted murder of 18-year-old Mormon missionary Elder Michael Fauber.

Courtney was placed in the Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham on a $60,000 bond after being apprehended following coordination between the county’s Criminal Division and the Metro Area Crime Center.

Authorities also arrested 22-year-old Cornelius Omar-James Knight, charging him with hindering prosecution during the investigation. He's also being held in the Jefferson County Jail on a $15,000 bond. 

“Our detectives worked tirelessly to develop the information from what initially seemed to be a needle in a haystack,” stated the Sheriff’s Office.

“Through collaborative efforts with the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the community and other law enforcement agencies, they were able to solve this unwarranted attack on a blameless person.”

A resident of Dayton, Ohio, Fauber was at a gymnasium owned by the LDS Church located in Vestavia Hills on Dec. 3 when Courtney entered the facility, played a few games of basketball, and then allegedly shot the missionary multiple times.

“This was the first time they’ve seen him at this location,” Deputy Chief David Agee told, noting that no one else there was familiar with the shooter.

Fauber was seriously wounded and transported to UAB Hospital in Birmingham, where he underwent surgery and is reportedly in stable condition. 

“Other missionaries in the building were not physically hurt but are receiving counseling. The Church is cooperating with law enforcement and is awaiting additional details from investigators,” said the LDS Church in a statement.

“Our prayers are with this missionary, his family and all the missionaries and others impacted by this senseless act of violence.”

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