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Three Shot at Church of Scientology

September 25, 1996 GMT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ A man carried a can of gasoline into the Church of Scientology’s Portland headquarters today, started a fire and shot at least three people.

Two men and a woman were taken from the downtown church to a nearby hospital. There was no immediate word as to the extent of their injuries.

One man was in custody and witnesses across the street at The Heathman Hotel said another suspect fled the scene. However, police spokesman Lt. Cliff Madison said that it was unclear if there was a second suspect.

Police recovered a semiautomatic handgun, Madison said.

The fire was put out quickly.

``Our reservation manager said she saw two men throw something into the building and a flash of fire and two men run away,″ said Lorraine Thayer, sales manager at The Heathman Hotel.

``Then we were looking out the window and saw the police with their guns drawn and so we got away from the window and closed the blinds and turned off the lights. We saw one man lying on the sidewalk,″ Thayer said.

Founded 40 years ago by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology teaches that technology can expand the mind and help solve human problems.