Winona Texas pastor shot dead by suspect fleeing police hiding at Starrville Methodist Church overnight. Shot priest confronting him after snatching gun
A 62 year old Texas pastor was fatally shot Sunday morning after confronting a man who hid inside the church all night while on the run from police, authorities said.
The ‘incident’ occurred about 9:20 a.m. at the Starrville Methodist Church in Winona, a small city in East Texas, Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith said.
The suspect, since identified as Mytrez Deunte Woolen, 21, of Marshall, allegedly snatched the gun from Pastor Mark McWilliams‘ hand during the confrontation, according to Smith.
Two others were wounded in the showdown — one by gunfire, another who suffered an undisclosed injury in a fall.
No names were released by authorities.
‘This is not a church-related, religion-related offense’
The pastor opened a bathroom door inside the church and found Woolen hiding in there, according to Sheriff Smith. The pastor was armed and drew his weapon, only for the suspect to take the gun and shoot Pastor McWilliams, Smith told KLTV.
Woolen who had been involved in a car chase the previous night appeared to have taken shelter in the church out of convenience the sheriff said.
‘This is not a church-related, religion-related offense,’ Smith said during a Sunday afternoon press conference.
After the shooting, the suspect stole the pastor’s car and fled; he was captured in Harrison County and was expected to be charged with capital murder, Smith said.
The gunman was treated at a hospital Sunday for gunshot injuries to his hand.
It believed the suspect — who was treated at a hospital Sunday for gunshot injuries to his hand — had been involved in a car chase the previous night, CBS reports.
Mytrez Deunte Woolen has been booked into the Smith County Jail on $3,500,000 bond.
Winona is a small town about 100 miles east of Dallas. Starrville Methodist Church was built in 1853, according to the Texas State Historical Association.