Local pastor killed, 2 injured in taking pictures at Texas church

A neighborhood pastor has been killed and two others have been injured after a shooting at Starrville Methodist Church in East Texas, in keeping with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office.

Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith stated throughout a information convention that the confrontation occurred round 9:30 a.m. Sunday after the suspect was found contained in the church’s rest room with a crimson financial institution bag. 

The Smith County Sheriff's Office investigates a fatal shooting incident at the Starville Methodist Church in Winona, Texas, on Sunday morning, Jan. 3, 2021. A suspect who fled has been arrested, said the sheriff’s office. (Zak Wellerman/Tyler Morning Telegraph via AP)

The Smith County Sheriff’s Office investigates a deadly taking pictures incident on the Starville Methodist Church in Winona, Texas, on Sunday morning, Jan. 3, 2021. A suspect who fled has been arrested, stated the sheriff’s workplace. (Zak Wellerman/Tyler Morning Telegraph by way of AP)

Smith stated that the pastor, who was armed, pointed a gun on the suspect and requested him to depart. However, the suspect was capable of disarm the pastor earlier than taking pictures and killing him. 

There had been two different people contained in the church through the incident. One particular person is being handled at a native hospital because of a fall whereas the opposite sufferer is present process surgical procedure for a gunshot wound. The second sufferer’s situation is presently unkown. 


After fleeing the scene within the pastor’s automotive, the suspect was taken into custody by authorities in Harrison County. Smith stated the suspect had suffered a gunshot wound by way of his hand, although it is unclear when he was shot.

Smith declined to establish the pastor, the opposite individuals injured or the suspect.

Prior to the incident, authorities had been pursuing the suspect in an in a single day manhunt that started at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night time. The suspect was driving a darkish Volkswagen Beetle earlier than abandoning the automotive and hiding within the woods. It is unclear when the suspect could have entered the church and Smith declined to say why authorities had been trying to find the person.

The sheriff defined that there’s presently no motive to consider that the incident was politically or religiously motivated in any means.

“The church just happened to be the location that he was able to get into at the time,” Smith stated.


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued his condolences in a statement Sunday following reviews of the incident.

“Our hearts are with the victims and the families of those killed or injured in this terrible tragedy,” Abbott stated. “I am grateful for the law enforcement officers who apprehended the suspect, and I ask Texans to join Cecilia and me in praying for those affected by this horrific shooting. The State of Texas is working closely with first responders and local officials to ensure that justice is served and that the Starrville community has the resources it needs during this time.”

The sheriff stated the taking pictures suspect will doubtless face a capital homicide cost.

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