Deadly church shooting film debuts in Daingerfield

| September 3, 2012

DAINGERFIELD — The faith of a small town congregation has only grown stronger the past 32 years since a routine Sunday morning turned into an unimaginable horror.

Members of the First Baptist Church on Webb Street in Daingerfield had gathered to worship June 22, 1980, when Alvin Lee King III, 45, broke through the doors of the church yelling, “This is war.”

In a hail of gunfire, five people were killed and several wounded before the shooter could be subdued.

Sondra Hicks with Heartstone Pictures, a filmmaker for 30 years, has produced a documentary film, “Faith Under Fire,” which premieres at 1 p.m. today with a private showing for the congregation of the First Baptist Church.

A public showing will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday.

A marker adorns the yard of the First Baptist Church listing the names of those slain that day. Gina Linam, 7; Thelma Richardson, 72; Kenneth Truitt, 49; Gene Gandy, 49; and James “Red” McDaniel, 53, were all killed in the shooting.

“It is a beautiful tribute to the men (women and children) who died,” Hicks said.

Hicks said she was contacted by people who suggested she tell the story.

“Since that time, I have met with many people in the community and decided it was a story I should explore. I have been working on the documentary since November 2010.”

Hicks said she had two interviews with Gretchen King, the widow of the shooter.

 

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