An Illinois Pastor was killed Sunday after a gunman shot him during his sermon.
Wired PR News.com – A gunman shot and killed an Illinois pastor on Sunday during an early morning sermon. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), the man, whose name had yet been released at the time of the report, unloaded four rounds of bullets at The Reverend Fred Winters of the area’s First Baptist Church, shortly after an 8:00 a.m. sermon. Winters reportedly used his Bible to deflect the first round.
Linda Cunningham, a congregant of the church, is quoted as stating of the incident, “We thought it was part of a drama skit … when he shot, what you saw was confetti… We just sat there waiting for what comes next, not realizing that he had wounded the pastor.” Winters was subsequently taken to Anderson Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The gunman stabbed himself and two other individuals after jamming his first weapon and pulling out a knife. Details of his condition have not been released. The two men stabbed during the occurrence reportedly received medical treatment. One has been released, and the other is listed in serious condition following surgery at St. Louis University Hospital.
The First Baptist Church has an estimated 1,200 members. Illinois State Police Master Trooper Ralph Timmins is quoted in the AP report as stating, “We don’t know the relationship (between the gunman and pastor), why he’s here or what the circumstances came about that caused him in the first place to be here.”