An Illinois pastor used the Bible he was reading out of to shield himself from bullets being pumped at him from an unknown gunman who opened fire during Sunday services at the First Baptist Church in Maryville, Ill.
Senior Pastor Fred Winters was preaching during the 8 a.m. service when a man entered the church, walked down the aisle and started shooting, a parishioner told FOX News. Four others were also reportedly shot.
The .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol jammed and the suspect started stabbing himself with a knife, Ralph Timmins of the Illinois State Police told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Timmins told the Post-Dispatch the gunman slashed two parishioners when they tried to subdue him.
The suspect is in police custody.
Winters was shot three times, police said. He died at Anderson Hospital, a spokeswoman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Five other people were taken to local hospitals.
Police said there were about 150 people in the church at the time of the shooting.
The church has an average attendance of more than 1,200 and was officially organized on March 4, 1945, according to their Web site.
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Tags: Illinois, church, shooting, killing, murder, gunman
Location: Maryville, Illinois, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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