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911 Tape Shows Church Gunman Was Prepared For 'Mortal Combat'

911 Tape Shows Church Gunman Was Prepared For 'Mortal Combat'

AP - Visalia Police detectives point to an area where a suspect was shot after lay bishop Clay Sannar of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was shot and killed Sunday, Aug. 29, 2010 in Visalia, CA

The Modesto Bee via YellowBrix

September 01, 2010

VISALIA, CA – Visalia police today released a recording of the 911 call a gunman from Modesto made after he shot Mormon Bishop Clay Sannar to death.

Authorities say that Kenneth James Ward, 47, shot the church official at 12:36 p.m. Sunday at the Visalia Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

After the shooting, Ward called 911 to report what he had done. He gave the dispatcher a fake name and said police could find him in the central Visalia neighborhood where his family had once lived.

“Be prepared to throw down in mortal combat,” he says in a challenge to police in the call, which last only a few seconds.

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Kenneth James Ward

Police said they don’t know why he used a false name, Zane Thomas.

Ward was killed in an exchange of gunfire with the four officers who arrived.


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