A gunman walked into a Louisiana nighttime revival service Friday night and opened fire on a pastor while he was preaching in front of about 60 people and then, after the pastor fell, stood over him and fired at least one more round in front of the terrified congregation.
Pastor Ronald J. Harris Sr. was inside the Tabernacle of Praise Worship Center in Lake Charles at about 8:20 p.m. Authorities said Woodrow Karey, 53, walked into the building with a shotgun and opened fire. Harris was pronounced dead at the scene and Karey fled, authorities said.
Karey was arrested minutes later after he called the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office and told the dispatcher his location and that he would turn himself in, Kim Myers, a sheriff spokeswoman said.
Police say when they located Karey, he directed them to two guns he had discarded in a wooded area. One being the shotgun, and the other a .22 pistol. Both weapons have been recovered by police.
Myers says authorities are investigating and have not determined a motive for the shooting.
Karey is being held on $1 million bond. Fox44.com reported that Karey has been charged with 2nd-degree murder and has no previous criminal history.
Family members who answered the telephone Saturday at the Harris home in Lake Charles said there would be no comment. There was no answer at a telephone listing for Karey or at Tabernacle of Praise, the Associated Press reported.