Everything You Need to Know About the Shots Fired at Hill Cumorah
Early Wednesday evening state police arrived at the Hill Cumorah Visitor’s Center, nestled outside Palmyra, New York, to respond to reports of gunshots. Latter-day Saints around the world know the historic site as the place Joseph Smith received the gold plates and visitations by the Angel Moroni.
Later that night, Church spokesman Eric Hawkins released the following statement:
This afternoon, several shots were fired at or near the Hill Cumorah Visitors’ Center in Palmyra, New York. Gratefully, no injuries have been reported. At this hour, there is little information available. Inquiries about details should be directed to local law enforcement.
Early reports stated at least one bullet struck the building, which was full of visitors at the time. Later reports now say it was an apartment window near the historic site that was hit. The area was immediately shut down and no injuries were reported. Those at the Hill Cumorah sheltered in place while troopers swarmed the area. After investigations, police now say 23-year-old Michael Bushart was firing a gun recreationally and did not intend to hit the building or cause harm. He was target shooting on farmland west of the site and shot approximately 22 rounds. Bushart is in custody and charged with first-degree reckless endangerment.
In June 2021, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced it would begin a long-term project to preserve the Hill Cumorah and surrounding areas. The three major rehabilitation areas were listed as removing pageant infrastructure and other nonhistorical facilities, rehabilitating the landscape, and upgrading the messaging of the hill’s historical and sacred significance.