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4 Suspects Arrested for 'Hate Crime', Shooting 50+ Rounds at Missouri Church Building


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Four people were arrested early Sunday morning after the suspects fired shots at a church building in Morgan County, Missouri.

Deputies with the Morgan County Sheriff's Office responded to a call of shots fired at Clearview Church on Highway E in Morgan County.  Arriving at the scene, the deputies located spent 9mm shell casings and obvious damage to the church. It was discovered that not less than 50 rounds from 9mm pistols had been fired into the church, according to a press release from the sheriff's office. 

During their investigation, they also found out another church building south of Latham in Moniteau County had been vandalized.

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The two male suspects were identified as Bryce Martin, 18, of Fortuna, and Zachary Stauffer, 18, of Versailles. The other two suspects were juveniles, ages 14 and 17, the sheriff's office said. The juveniles were taken to the Juvenile Justice Center in Camdenton. 

During the arrest of the suspects, three 9mm handguns with ammunition, and a vehicle were seized. 

Morgan County prosecutors charged Martin with Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Armed Criminal Action, Property Damage Motivated by Discrimination, and 1st Degree Property Damage.

Stauffer was also charged with 1st Degree Property Damage, Property Damage Motivated by Discrimination, and Armed Criminal Action.

Both men are being held in the Morgan County Jail with no bond.

"The property damage is charged as a hate crime. This is an ongoing investigation and evidence is continuing to be seized. An incident at a second church in Morgan County is still under investigation," Sheriff Norman Dills said in a statement. 

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