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Bishop of Mormon Church Gunned Down

Bishop of Mormon Church Gunned Down

Paramedics rush Clay Sannar to an ambulance after he was shot in his office at The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints in Visalia, Calif., Sunday. [AP]

Associated Press

August 31, 2010

VISALIA, Calif. – Police are seeking clues in the fatal shooting of a lay bishop at a Mormon church by a man who was killed in an ensuing confrontation with officers.

Clay Sannar, a 42-year-old father of six boys, was doing administrative paperwork on Sunday between services when a man came in and asked for a leader of the congregation, said church official Ralph Jordan. The man was directed to Sannar and fatally shot him, said Colleen Mestas, the police chief in Visalia, southeast of Fresno in California’s Central Valley.

Then, someone called police and identified himself as the gunman. When police arrived at the church, they confronted the man and exchanged gunfire, said Mestas.

The gunman was shot multiple times and pronounced dead at nearby hospital, Mestas said. No police officers were injured.

The man, whose identity has not been released, did not seem to know Sannar and is not a member of the church, and no one at the church recognized him, said Jordan. Police have not disclosed details about a motive.

“We have several detectives out actively investigating this so we can come up with answers, especially for the family,” said Mestas. “It’s just tragic.”

Sannar was the general manager of Soil Basics, a fertilizer company in Visalia, according to the company’s website.

Other members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints congregation described Sannar as a well-loved family man. One of his sons is less than 6 months old.

“We’re devastated,” said Scott Henriksen, 47, a church member. “There’s only one word: shocked. This is something that should not happen.”

Henriksen told The Visalia Times-Delta that he had known Sannar for about 18 years, and he was “very good, hardworking. A great family man.”

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago

    What ever happened to the church being a place of peace????

  • Az_phx_motorcade1a_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    God bless sir! If you kill a man of God i'm sure there is a special place in hell for you!! Another reason why I carry my gun in church and everywhere!!

  • Chris_and_i_in_uniform_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    BUMP BrooklynHillsCop

  • Pug_max600_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    The shooter was a past member of the church. Brother Bishop Clay Sannar was shot at a "meeting house" which is similar to a church. RIP

  • 21_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    There is a special place for the gunman..........

  • 1051193310_l_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Bumps to BrooklynHillsCop on all the points made...

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago

    What a coward piece of trash. Interesting enough, the Media here doesn't seem to be craying "Hate Crime"... Huh...??? How come...???
    If there is a case that can be shown as a Hate Crime this is it.
    The bastard came in and ask for the leader of the congregation and executed him, without further... If this is not a Hate Crime I don't know what that is...!
    My heart goes out to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
    R.I.P. Bishop Sannar, May the Lord be with you in your journey to heavens...

  • Lapd_detective_badge_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Sad day indead. Rest in Peace

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    Rest in Peace Bishop Sannar

  • Me_last_wk_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    just goes to prove that we arent safe in church so carry all the time off duty.

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