A Louisiana pastor was shot and killed during a church sermon Friday night.
Pastor Ronald J. Harris Sr. was shot while leading a worship service at the Tabernacle of Praise Worship Center in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
About 60 people had attended what would have been a normal Friday night service. Around 8:20 pm Woodrow Karey, 53, allegedly walked into the church and shot Pastor Harris twice with a shotgun.
Witnesses say that Karey fired the first shot while Harris was still preaching. After Harris fell to the ground, Karey stood over him and shot a second time from close range. Harris was pronounced dead on the scene.
Karey immediately fled the church, but later called the police to turn himself in. He then led deputies to two hidden guns in a “wooded area” – one was a shotgun, the other a .22-caliber pistol.
Supposedly, Karey used to be a deacon at the Worship Center. Harris’ daughter Talisha said that her family is baffled by his motives, as he left the church over four years ago. She also recalls that the situation was “chaotic,” and that “it was like everybody was everywhere.”
Karey has no previous criminal background and his motives are still being speculated. Officials are interviewing all witnesses who were in the church at the time of the incident. One theory is that his motive stems from “issues that occurred at the church.”
Karey is being held at the Calcasieu Correctional Center with the bail set at $1 million. He is being charged with second-degree murder.