LAYTON, Utah (ABC 4 News) - Three LDS churches were hit by vandals sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning. It has happened on the heels of vandalism at LDS church buildings in California that appears to be in retaliation for supporting prop 8, the so called Ban Against Gay Marriage. What investigators were trying to find out Sunday was it the motive in Layton?
As LDS Church members arrived for services Sunday morning they were greeted with shattered glass. Julian Berglund said when she saw the vandalism she was scared. “Seeing my church where I come every Sunday… it kind of just hurt in a way.” Julian’s mother, Pat Berglund, said, “I feel badly for those people that have such anger within them that they would do something like this… I just hope that people’s hearts will be softened, that they will realize the Gospel… teaches us to love one another and not do things like this.”
When Kelly Larson arrived for church he saw the shards of glass. “When I heard there were a couple other churches involved I wondered what would make someone do something like that to a church. It doesn’t make sense to me.”
Police say a BB gun was used to shoot out five glass doors at three buildings. One door was shot out at the building on 2160 West Gordon Avenue, two doors were targeted at the Stake Center on 60 West Gordon Avenue, and double doors were shattered at the building on 1290 North Church Street.
Layton Stake President, Kirk Bitton said as he met with members on Sunday there were no ill feelings among the congregation. “It was disappointing to see the windows shot out. At the same time, we're not holding any type of grudge. We don't know if it was anything more than some teenagers, some local vandalism.”
The question of possible retaliation over Prop. 8 have been raised but investigators say right now there is no evidence pointing in that direction. “But we are looking into that since it is a crime that occurred in all three churches,” said Layton Police Officer Scott Gianchetta.
Police say the vandalism happened sometime between 10pm Saturday and around 6am Sunday when it was discovered by church leaders. Damage is around $2000. Right now investigators have no leads. If you have any information about these crimes you are asked to call Layton Police at: 801-497-8300