The L.D.S. Church's Family History Library reopened Monday morning. The facility had been closed since last Thursday when a deranged man went on a shooting spree inside the library.
Police say 70-year old Sergei Babarin calmly walked into the library at about 10:30 am Thursday and methodically began shooting people with a handgun. He killed two people and injured four others before police shot and killed him.
Babarin is described as a man who had schizophrenia and had stopped taking medication. His son told Eyewitness News he had tried to have his father committed. Neighbors describe the gunman as a Russian native often frustrated over his broken English. Police say he had a wife and children, and a criminal record.
Others who died were Donald Thomas-- a 62 year old church security officer who had been an employee for 28 years, and 55-year-old Patricia Irene Frengs, of Pleasant Hill, California.
The library, full of 250 people, was evacuated except for 17 people who barricaded themselves inside. They emerged safe.
A school group of 179 students that was visiting in the area at the time of the shooting made it
Police evacuated the Triad Center, about 2 blocks away, while bomb squads searched a yellow moving truck they thought the suspect drove to the area. In fact, another man who visited the Family History Library Thursday had driven the truck from Alaska. Police thought it might contain explosives. They blew a hole in the side of the vehicle and determined it did not pose a threat and was not related to the library incident.
Community leaders are organizing a public meeting for anyone who was affected by the shooting.
The meeting is set for Tuesday night at 7:00 at the U.S. West Building in downtown Salt Lake.
A team of crisis support experts will be available to answer questions and provide resources.
Donald Thomas was laid to rest Monday, following a funeral service presided over by L.D.S. Church President Gordon B. Hinckley.
Salt Lake Police Chief Ruben Ortega is calling for changes in current gun
laws. He wants misdemeanor offenses to show up on
criminal background checks along with any history of mental illness.
The gunman's family blame the mental health system for not taking serious Sergei Babarin's mental illness. Leaders of Valley Mental Health say they did not diagnose Babarin with schizophrenia and could not have legally had him committed when they last saw him in August.
Police say they still don't know where the gunman got the weapon used in the
Library shooting. They say it was not the same gun police confiscated from him
in a 1995 incident at a shopping mall. That gun was destroyed.
Pres. Hinckley's Comments at Funeral
Donald Thomas Funeral
Shooting Victim Tells About Incident
Interview With Victim's Family
L.D.S. Church Statement
Episcopal Diocese Statement
Associated Press Story
Selected Eyewitness News Reports
About the Library:
The LDS Family History Library is home to the largest genealogical archive in the world.
That's where a gunman killed two people before police shot him to death Thursday.
The five-story library is open to anyone who cares to use it. The building houses more than two million rolls of microfilm and 274-thousand history books.
Two floors contain information from those born in the United States and Canada, a third has information from the British Isles and the fourth has records from European, Asian, Latin American and other countries.
For decades, the church has gathered and photographed birth and baptismal records from around the world.
Those records are placed on microfilm and stored in a granite vault in the nearby Wasatch Mountains. Copies and data from the records are at the library.
A church leader last year said the church has archived 13 billion names from 110 countries.
The library plans to put at least some of its enormous archive on the World Wide Web this year to meet the growing demand from genealogical hobbyists.