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Vandalism Suspect: God Wants Me To 'Hurt People'

BUFFALO, Minn. (WCCO) -- The man police say was responsible for causing more than $7,500 worth of damage to Buffalo area churches says he believes God wants him to "hurt people."

According to a criminal complaint filed in Wright County, 30-year-old Wade Murray broke doors and threw rocks through stained glass windows at six churches in Buffalo last weekend.

He is also accused of leaving offensive messages and posters regarding religion and homosexuality.

The criminal complaint says that Murray was identified in surveillance photos by his father.

The churches affected by the string of vandalism were: St. Francis Xavier, Zion Lutheran, 7th Day Adventist, Buffalo Presbyterian, Buffalo United Methodist and Hosanna Lutheran.

Police believe Wade Murray acted alone. Officers say Murray explained that he was motivated to commit these acts due to his anger with God over personal issues.

Because of the language on the posters left behind, the six churches targeted had originally thought it was over their stance on the proposed marriage amendment. All six churches reportedly plan to vote yes on the amendment.

However, police say he never indicated political motivations and it wasn't related to the amendment, adding that this seems to be a guy who needs help.

When he was arrested, Murray told authorities that God and Jesus were "talking to him," and that they wanted him to "hurt people."

Murray now faces a felony charge of first-degree property damage. The maximum penalty upon conviction would be five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

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