RICHMOND, CA (KGO) — In a brazen attack in the East Bay Sunday, three men stormed a church in Richmond, opening fire during a service at the New Gethsemane Church. Two teenagers were hit by the bullets and the gunmen got away.
New Gethsemane Church of God in Christ is a very spiritual church. About 175 church members were engaged in open prayer and gospel music was blaring when the shooting happened.
Several people in the church were keenly aware of three young male suspects, possibly teenagers, who walked into the sanctuary around noon. Witnesses say they were wearing black hoodies over their heads which raised a red flag.
Still, nobody thought they would pull out guns and start shooting.
Richmond police say they wounded two male victims. A 14-year-old and a 19-year-old suffered non-live threatening injuries to the ankle and shoulder.
"I even got my praise off. I instantly got paranoid," said church member Dianne Brown. "I turned around the whole time. Then, the other guys came off the choir stands, you know, the men that felt it too."
"In spite of the shooting that took place, Pastor Leviaz said he wasn't going to let anything stop God's program," said Rev. Andre Shumake, president of the Richmond Improvement Association. "So in spite of the shooting, I want the world to know that here at New Gethsemane, Gods' program continues. He held service, they sung they prayed and they worshiped God as though nothing had happened."
The church and surrounding neighborhood was locked down for at least one hour until police could secure the area. Richmond crime scene investigators believe the suspects fired about five shots inside the church.
The three shooting suspects are still at large.
Category: Church Security