Woman fatally shot at church counseling session

| March 18, 2010

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — A woman has died following a shooting at a local church late Wednesday afternoon.

Police spokesman Ray Bunk said the woman and her husband were attending a counseling session at the Calvary Lutheran Church at 2415 S. 320th St. when the man pulled out a gun and shot her several times just before 6 p.m.

Bunk said it wasn't immediately clear whether the shooting took place during or just after the counseling session, but the suspected shooter called 911 afterward and waited for police and medics to arrive.

"We're unsure how many witnesses we have," Bunk said. "Right now, (we don't know) how many were in the room or even in the area. We're identifying and interviewing all those witnesses."

The 38-year-old Lakewood woman was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where she died. Her name has not been released.

The 42-year-old Lakewood man has been taken into custody.

Members of the congregation gathering for a scheduled soup supper, a Lenten tradition on Wednesdays, learned of the tragedy as they arrived at the church. Many grew teary-eyed over the incident at their place of worship.

"It was really scary to drive up and not know…we knew everybody was getting ready for the soup supper," said Sandra Cook.

Church members said a daycare inside the church was operating at the time of the shooting, sending parents on a frantic search for their little ones.

"The church is a place of hope, and to someone driven to this degree, this extreme…we just pray for everybody that was inside the building that was connected with this thing," said Stan Stenersen.



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Category: Church Security

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