The suspect has been described as a 21-year-old Black man. The suspect and victims have not been identified by officials.
One person is dead, and three more, including the suspect, were injured following a shooting at Starrville Methodist Church near Winona in Smith County Sunday morning. Smith County Sheriff’s Office says the shooting took place on Farm-to-Market Road 16 in Winona and that the suspect had been hiding in the church’s bathroom following a car chase with authorities Saturday night. The SCSO says the suspect was in a dark Volkswagen Beetle and had a shotgun pointed out the window, but later left the car due to a tire blowout and ran away. They think he took shelter in the church between 10:30 pm and 9:30 Sunday morning.
The pastor was armed, pointed a gun at the suspect, and asked him to leave. However, Sheriff Smith says the suspect disarmed the pastor, shot and killed him, and stole the pastor’s car.
The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office says the black, 21-year-old driver headed east on I-30 at 120 mph, and Harrison assisted Smith County.
They stopped the suspect on Bomar at Meredith Drive in Marshall and arrested him, recovering the pastor’s weapon and vehicle. The suspect has a gunshot wound to the hand and is in a Tyler hospital. The two other victims also sustained injuries, one from a fall and another with gunshot wounds, and both of their conditions are unknown at this time.
Gov. Greg Abbott also confirmed the death and injuries in a press release:
“Our hearts are with the victims and the families of those killed or injured in this terrible tragedy,” Abbott said. “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.”