CHURCH NEWS

ON SHOOTINGS

When I was six my Dad would always tell me, "Watch and Pray." I asked him "Dad how can I watch and pray with my eyes closed when I'm praying." He responded, "Son, Watch and Pray."

The Latest: Shooter takes his own life.

November 05, 2017

Sutherland, Texas - Devin Patrick Kelly, 26, served in the Air Force at a base in New Mexico but was court-martialed in 2012, found guilty of domestic violence charges of assaulting his wife and child. Prosecutors alleged that on June 21, 2011 and April 27, 2012, he unlawfully struck, chocked, kicked and pulled the hair of his wife and struck her young child "with a force likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm." He was sentenced one year in military prison and received a dishonorably discharge in May of 2014, according to Ann Stefanek, the chief of Air Force media operations. Mr. Kelly lived in New Braunfels, Texas on 28 acres of wooded farmland, separated from the nearest main road by a long private driveway to a 3,700 square home with his current wife and 2 year old son, valued at $800,000,00 owned by his parents. Mr. Kelly was clad in all black an skull mask, with a ballistic vest strapped to his chest a military style Ruger AR-556 rifle and 2 hand guns as he opened fire in the First Baptist Church located in rural Sutherland Spring, Texas (southeast of San Antonio) on Sunday, killing 26 people, 23 were found dead inside the church, at least 20 more were wounded and 10 were in critical condition. The victims ranged in age from 5 to 72 and among the dead were several children, a pregnant woman and the pastor's 14 year old daughter. He was shot twice by a local vigilante as he exited the church and fled in his vehicle. He eventually crashed before killing himself with a shot to the head. It is believed the attack was not religious or racially motive but domestically motive, and to date as the deadliest mass shooting in the state's history.


September 24, 2017

Nashville, Tennessee - Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, allegedly opened fire while wearing a mask at a church outside Nashville, killing one person and injuring seven others, authorities said. Emanuel Kidega Samson identified as the suspect by police, told authorities he arrived at the church armed with a handgun just before 11 a.m. and "fired upon the church building," according to a State of Tennessee affidavit. Officials said in a statement that more charges were expected. Metro Nashville Police Department stated, "Police found four guns believed to be Samson's in his possession. He had two pistols, a tactical vest and three magazines of ammunition (as well as an empty one); in the suspect's SUV he had an AR-15 rifle in its case and a .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol." In Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, where Melanie Smith, 39, was killed as she walked to her car. Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron stated, "that after fatally shooting Smith, the gunman entered the main sanctuary door, at the rear of the church, and began indiscriminately shooting." A church usher, Robert Caleb Engle, 22, confronted the gunman and was "pistol whipped," Aaron said. "There was a significant struggle between the two," he stated, adding: "During the struggle, the gunman shot himself, probably not intentionally, in the left pectoral muscle." Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson stated of Engle on Sunday afternoon: "He's the hero, he's the person who stopped this madness." Engle, a licensed gun owner, went to his vehicle, retrieved his firearm, returned to the church and "made sure that the gunman didn't make any more movements until the police department arrived," Anderson said. In a statement, Engle deflected credit for stopping further violence.


April 24, 2016

Lansdale, Pennsylvania - Mark Storms, 46, shot and killing a 27-year-old man inside a Montgomeryville church of Voluntary Manslaughter and Recklessly Endangering Another Person. The shooting happened inside the Keystone Fellowship Church on April 24, 2016. The victim, Robert Braxton, was acting out. Storms, who had no official function with the church, approached Braxton, flashed an official looking badge that said “Concealed Weapons Permit” and asked Braxton to step outside. Braxton punched Storms in the face, and that’s when witnesses said Storms pulled his gun and shot three times.


June 17, 2015

Charleston, South Carolina - Dylann Roof, 21, a resident of South Carolina, was identified as the suspected shooter. Nine people were killed in the attack on Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historically black church on June 17, 2015. Surveillance photos appear to show Roof entering the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston last night. Roof is said to have sat in the Wednesday night prayer service for an hour before opening fire on the slain church's pastor, Clementa Pinckney and a state senator, was one of nine people killed in the attack. Two other men and six women were also murdered. One woman reportedly fled after Roof told her to tell others about the attack. A 5-year-old survived the attack after being instructed to play dead, according to reports. Authorities have referred to the shooting as a hate crime.


December 04, 2014

Bradenton, Florida - Andy Avalos, 33, killed his wife Amber Avalos, 33 and a friend, Denise Potter, 46 Thursday, then headed to the church where his wife worked for five years as there secretary and fatally shot the pastor James Tripp Battle, 31 at Bayshore Baptist Church. Deputies later found the bodies of Avalos wife Amber, and another woman Denise Potter at a home about ten miles away. Witness to the shooting told deputies at the scene. "We don't know exactly what transpired" stated the Manatee County sheriff's office spokesman Dave Bristow.


June 17, 2013

Ogden, Utah - Charles Richard Jennings Jr., 35, walked into a Catholic church and sho his father-in-law in the back of the head during Mass, police in Ogden, Utah stated "Charles Richard Jennings Jr., was captured Sunday afternoon in nearby Box Elder County after fleeing in a stolen pickup truck, investigators stated. Witnesses say they heard one gunshot during the 11:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday at Saint James the Just Catholic Church in Ogden, and that parishioners immediately hit the floor. The victim was taken to a hospital, where he was listed in critical but stable condition. His name wasn't immediately released.


Police said the victim was deliberately targeted by the gunman. "We don't know the motive," Ogden police Lt. Danielle Croyle told The Salt Lake Tribune. "It is a domestic violence-related incident." A parishioner said the congregation was told by a priest that the suspect and his wife had been involved in domestic disputes. Parishioner Leon Bedford said the victim was sitting in a back pew with his wife when their daughter and son-in-law walked in holding hands as the congregation started saying a prayer. Bedford told the Standard-Examiner, "They came into the church hand in hand, and he walked right up to the victim and pulled that trigger. We just hope and pray that he makes it."


October 24, 2012

Collage Park, Georgia - One person is dead after the incident at World Changers Church International. The man suspected of killing a volunteer leading a prayer service, which occurred around 10:30 a.m. was arrested Wednesday afternoon. U.S. Marshals stated earlier, police named the suspect as Floyd Palmer, 52 is a former church facilities maintenance employee, described him as armed and dangerous. Authorities said marshals and Fulton County police arrested the suspect at Lenox Mall in the Buckhead community about 25 miles from the church. Police spokeswoman Corporal Kay Lester stated, There were about 25 people in the massive church when the shooting happened.


February 14, 2010

Richmond, California - Three hooded men walk into Gethsemane Church of God in Christ and opened fire and then fled the scene, as the singing of the choir was replaced by frightened screams. The two victims, a 14-year-old boy and a 19-year-old man, were hospitalized.


March 8, 2009

Maryville, Illinois - Suspect Terry Joe Sedlacek, 27, of Troy, walks into the First Baptist Church, and shoots pastor Fred Winters dead, point blank. Several church members are injured by a knif in the struggle to capture after the attack, The suspect also had stabbed himself, but survived, when his gun jams.


July 27, 2008

Knoxville, Tennessee - A gunman opens fire in a church during a youth performance, killing two people and injuring seven.


December 9, 2007

Denver, Colorado - Three people are killed and five wounded in two shooting rampages, one at a missionary school in a suburban of Denver and one at a church in Colorado Springs. The gunman in the second incident is killed by an armed guard.


May 20, 2007

Moscow, Idaho - A standoff between police and a suspect in the shootings of three people in a Presbyterian Church ended with three dead, including one police officer.


August 12, 2007

Neosho, Missouri - Eiken Elam Saimon shot and killed the pastor, two deacons and wounded five others in the First Congregational Church.


May 21, 2006

Baton Rouge, Louisiana - The Ministry of Jesus Christ Church - 4 killed - The four at the church who were shot were members of Erica Bell's family; she was abducted and murdered elsewhere; Bell's mother, church pastor Claudia Brown, was seriously wounded - Anthony Bell 25 was the shooter.


February 26, 2006

Detroit, Michigan - Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church - 2 killed + shooter - Kevin L. Collins, who reportedly went to the church looking for his girlfriend, later killed himself.


April 9, 2005

College Park, Georgia - A 27-year-old airman died after being shot at a church, where he had once worked as a security guard.


March 12, 2005

Brookfield, Wisconsin - Terry Ratzmann opened fire on the Living Church of God congregation, killing seven and wounding four before taking his own life.


July 30, 2005

College Park, Georgia - Air Force Staff Sergeant John Givens of The World Changers Church International was shot five times and killed by a police officer after charging the officer, following violent behavior.


December 17, 2004

Garden Grove, California - A member, musician and veteran of the Crystal Cathedral shoots himself to death after a nine-hour standoff.


October 5, 2003

Atlanta, Georgia - Shelia Wilson of the Turner Monumental AME Church walked into the church while preparations are being made for service and shot the pastor, her mother and then herself.


June 10, 2002

Conception, Missouri - Lloyd Robert Jeffress shot four monks in the Benedictine monastery killing two and wounding two, before killing himself.


March 12, 2002

Lynbrook, New York - Peter Troy, a former mental patient, opens fire during Mass at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, killing the priest and a parishioner. He later receives a life sentence.


May 18, 2001

Hopkinsville, Kentucky - Frederick Radford stood up in the middle of a revival service at the Greater Oak Missionary Baptist Church and began shooting at his estranged wife, Nicole Radford, killing her and a woman trying to help her.


September 15, 1999

Fort Worth, Texas - Larry Gene Ashbrook entered the Wedgewood Baptist Church, shooting killing seven people and injured seven more at a concert by Christian rock group Forty Days in Fort Worth, Texas before killing himself.


April 15, 1999

Salt Lake City, Utah - Sergei Babarin, 70, with a history of mental illness, entered the LDS Church Family History Library, killed two people and wounded four others before he was gunned down by police.