Missionary shot multiple times in Alabama meetinghouse still in serious condition but improving

Elder Michael Fauber of Dayton, Ohio, a full-time missionary serving in the Alabama Birmingham Mission who suffered multiple gunshot wounds in a Dec. 3 meetinghouse shooting near Birmingham, remains hospitalized but is slowly improving.

Sam Penrod, spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said Monday afternoon, Dec. 6, that Elder Fauber is still in serious but stable condition but is improving.

Elder Fauber was in the Birmingham Alabama Stake Center in Vestavia Hills with two other missionaries and a group of people interested in learning more about the Church when the Dec. 3 shooting occurred.

A weekly athletic activity was being held, and basketball was being played in the cultural hall. At approximately 8:30 p.m., Elder Fauber spoke with an unknown individual who had come into the building during the activity. A few moments later, Elder Fauber was shot multiple times, and the shooter then fled.

The missionary was taken to UAB Hospital in Birmingham and underwent surgery to address his wounds. Elder Fauber’s parents arrived from Ohio the following afternoon.

Investigation by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department is continuing, and authorities have not yet identified a suspect. They are following physical descriptions of the shooter as provided by witnesses at the meetinghouse.

“We’ve got good information that we believe will lead us to a suspect,’’ Deputy Chief David Agee told AL.com on Monday. “We do have evidence that detectives are following up on.”

The individual had entered the gymnasium and played a couple of basketball games with the group. Then, seemingly unprovoked, the gunman — who hadn’t been seen by witnesses at any previous weekly activity at the building — started shooting before fleeing in a vehicle.

No one else was injured. Counseling has been provided to the two other missionaries and offered to anyone else at the scene.