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Library Security Guard Killed in Shooting Was to Retire in June

From:             hollis_provins@nps.gov
To:               TonCremers@museum-security.org
Subject:          Salt Lake Tribune Article
Send reply to:    hollis_provins@nps.gov
Date sent:        Friday, April 16, 1999


I'm sure I speak for everyone, in that our hearts & prayers are with
Mr. Thomas' friends and family.

Salt Lake Tribune Article:
Library Security Guard Killed in Shooting Was to Retire in June

From: Hollis G. Provins

Library Security Guard Killed in Shooting Was to Retire in June
Donald Thomas had worked for church security for 28 years. Californian
also killed, Utah mother and daughter wounded

(Ran Galbraith/ The Salt Lake Tribune)  BY KELLY KENNEDY THE

It was like any other day for the man neighbors called "Daddy Don"
when Donald Thomas took his security post at the LDS Church's Family
History Library. But only a few hours into his shift, about 11 a.m.
on Thursday, Thomas was pronounced dead at LDS Hospital of a gunshot
wound to the chest, killed by a gunman who had calmly walked into the
Salt Lake City building and randomly began firing. Thomas had worked
for church security for the past 28 years and was to retire in June.
The 62-year-old Thomas leaves behind his wife, Konadee, who uses a
wheelchair because of multiple sclerosis, four children and 12
grandchildren. The couple lived in West Jordan with their daughter,
son-in-law and three grandchildren. "Their dad is a hero," said
Jeffrey Hill, the family's LDS bishop. "He spent his whole life
protecting his family, and that's the way he died -- protecting
people." The Thomas family was not alone in its grief. Patricia Irene
Frengs of Pleasant Hills, Calif., was also fatally shot Thursday.
Police said the 55-year-old woman's husband, Jack, identified her.
Two Laketown, Utah, women -- a mother and daughter -- were wounded.
On Thursday, the mother, Theda Weston, 71, was at the library with her
daughter Chris Webb, 45. Weston was shot near her left eye. The
bullet circled around the side of her face and lodged in the back of
her head, causing severe sinus damage, said University Hospital
spokesman John Dwan. She was in serious condition, but was alert and
talking with doctors. "Theda is very sweet," said Pamela Rhees
Weston, her next-door neighbor in the small northern Utah town. "She
likes to knit and quilt, and she really likes genealogy. I was just
thinking, though, her house burned down last winter, and she was
telling me how horrible it was to lose all of her photos -- and now
this." Webb, 45, was shot through the shoulder, and the bullet
entered her lung. She was in fair condition at Salt Lake Regional
Hospital. Weston, a great-grandmother, raised five children on the
family's ranch before passing it along to one of her sons. Webb has
three children. Said Kae Weston, a distant relative: "It's a small
town. We know everyone here -- so everyone is pulling for them."
Weston's grandson Josh Weston, 16, was called out of school in the
early afternoon and told of the shooting. "We just cried all the way
home," said Char Weston, Josh's cousin. "I just love being around
her," Josh Weston said of his grandmother. "I've already gotten calls
from a bunch of people offering to help out." Another victim, Nellie
Neighton, 80, had been serving a Mormon temple mission since March
1998. Neighton, originally from Oakland, Calif., was shot in the
cheek and was in fair condition late Thursday. "She's a very nice
lady," said Neighton's Salt Lake City neighbor, Leroy Sommer. "Her
daughter Judy does our taxes back in California and asked us to look
for her, so we were just delighted to find her right next door." "We
are saddened by the terrible tragedy which occurred at our Family
History Library this morning, in which three people were killed,
including an employee of the church," said a statement from the LDS
Church's governing First Presidency, composed of church President
Gordon B. Hinckley and his counselors, Presidents Thomas S. Monson
and James E. Faust.

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