Pastor After Church Murder: ‘It was A Nightmare’

| March 31, 2013

ASHTABULA, Ohio — Easter weekend came to a deadly end after police said a man shot and killed his father right outside of a church.

It happened at Hiawatha Church of God in Christ around 1:15p.m. Sunday.

At least 140 people were inside the church when everyone heard a gun shot. There were several children among the congregation.

“It was a nightmare,” said Steve Sargent, who is an associate pastor.

Police said an Ashtabula resident waited outside of the main entrance of the church with a handgun. When the suspect’s father walked out, there was a short fight and a shot fired.

Police said the church member died instantly.

“He was a loving man. He didn’t deserve to die,” said the victim’s step-daughter.

“He killed his own father at the entrance of the church,” said Sargent.

Church officials tell Fox 8 that when the shot rang out just after service ended, everyone inside reacted quickly. Some people hid in the church bathrooms, others tried to escape through windows as well.

“I knew at that point we couldn’t leave because our only point of exiting would have been where he was coming in,” said Sargent.

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Category: Church Security

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