Hill Cumorah tourists take cover after bullet hits complex

Jun 9, 2022, 8:23 AM | Updated: 8:47 am

A western New York man was arraigned on a reckless endangerment charge Thursday after a round he fired while target shooting struck a window at the Hill Cumorah complex, leading tourists to take cover and prompting a massive police presence at the religious site, state police said.

Local, state and federal law enforcement officers descended on the historic area east of Rochester, considered important to the founding of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, after gunfire was reported at about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday.

State troopers and Ontario County sheriff’s deputies reported hearing more shots when they arrived. About 75 people who were inside the Hill Cumorah Visitor’s Center at the time were told to shelter in place until being evacuated by police SWAT teams.

No one was hurt.

Investigators determined the shots were coming from a 23-year-old Fairport resident who was target shooting from farmland west of the Hill Cumorah complex, state police said. He was taken into custody, arraigned Thursday and released. Authorities do not believe he intentionally fired at the complex.

Prior to the announcement of an arrest, a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said in a statement that several shots were fired at or near the visitor’s center.

“Gratefully, no injuries have been reported,” the statement by Eric Hawkins said. The church did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Latter-day Saints believe that their faith’s founder, Joseph Smith, found metal plates in the hills of nearby Palmyra in 1823 that became the Book of Mormon. Beginning in 1937, the event was celebrated in the annual Hill Cumorah Pageant that drew tens of thousands of visitors to the site each year.

The Salt Lake City based-church announced in 2018 that the pageant would end after 2020 as it moved away from large-scale productions. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the final shows.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Former President Donald Trump sits in a courtroom next to his lawyer Todd Blanche before the start ...

Associated Press

Trump hush money trial enters new phase after defense rests without testimony from former president

Donald Trump's hush money trial is now closer to the moment when the jury will begin deciding the former president's fate.

20 hours ago

UoA student convicted of first-degree murder after killing professor...

Associated Press

Former Arizona grad student convicted of first-degree murder in 2022 shooting of professor

A former University of Arizona grad student was convicted of first-degree murder after fatally shooting a professor on campus two years ago.

22 hours ago

Rudy Giuliani bankruptcy filing defamation lawsuit...

Associated Press

Ex-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arizona’s Kelli Ward plead not guilty in fake elector case

Giuliani appeared remotely for the arraignment that was held in a Phoenix courtroom. His trial will take place in October.

1 day ago

President Joe Biden gestures after speaking to graduating students at the Morehouse College commenc...

Associated Press

Biden tells Morehouse graduates that scenes in Gaza from the Israel-Hamas war break his heart, too

Joe Biden on Sunday offered his most direct recognition of U.S. students' anguish over the Israel-Hamas war.

3 days ago

Rudy Giuliani...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani is the final defendant served indictment in Arizona fake elector case

Rudy Giuliani has been served an indictment in Arizona's fake elector case for his role in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

4 days ago

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday...

Associated Press

Some in Houston facing no power for weeks after storms cause widespread damage, killing at least 4

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday, May 17. Thunderstorms hit the southeastern part of Texas, killing at least four people.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Hill Cumorah tourists take cover after bullet hits complex