Pastor killed with his own gun by 21-year-old church intruder
A pastor was fatally shot with his own gun after clashing with an intruder inside a 160-year-old Methodist Church in Texas, United States.
The pastor, Mark McWilliams, was killed while three others, including the suspect, were injured in the shooting last Sunday, Jan. 3, as per ABC affiliate WFAA on the same day.
Mytrez Deunte Woolen, 21, was first seen on Saturday evening armed with a gun and pointing it out the sunroof of a vehicle he was driving, based on reports that came in at the Lindale Police Department (LPD).
Woolen then tried to flee from the police after being spotted, causing a car chase to ensue involving officers from LPD and troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the report said, citing the Smith County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO).
The suspect eventually arrived at the Starrville Methodist Church where he got off his vehicle and fled into the woods behind the building. He left his shotgun inside his car, as well as his ID, allowing police to learn his identity.
After several hours of searching, police were unable to find Woolen and began searching outside the area, believing that the suspect has already fled the established perimeter, according to the report.
Come Sunday morning, the church’s 62-year-old pastor Mark McWilliams opened a bathroom stall only to find Woolen. The pastor, who was armed at the time, reportedly pointed the gun at Woolen and a struggle ensued.
Woolen disarmed McWilliams and shot the latter with his own gun, killing him. Woolen then shot another man, whose identity was withheld, who later underwent surgery for non-life-threatening injuries.
The suspect also shot at the pastor’s wife, Rosemary, but was unable to hit her. She, however, sustained a shoulder injury when she fell while running away, according to the report.
Woolen, who sustained a gunshot to the hand, fled the church using McWilliams’ car but was eventually apprehended by authorities.
He has since gotten treatment for his wound and was booked into the Smith County Jail on a $3.5 million bond. He has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault, namely aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, as well as one count of capital murder. Ian Biong/NVG