The Lake Houston Methodist Church in Harris County, Texas, could have been the scene of an unspeakable tragedy on Sunday morning, when their pastor was threatened by a man in the parking lot. Fortunately for the church and pastor, however, one of the congregants was armed and able to defend the pastor from the threatening man.
Such is what the top local law enforcement official, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, announced in a press conference a few hours after the shooting, saying that the deceased individual appeared to be a white male in his early 40s.
Describing the incident, Sheriff Gonzalez said that local law enforcement officers received a call from the church at about 9:15 a.m., with a worried congregant saying that a suspicious male was in the church’s parking lot and making suspicious comments.
Gonzalez said, “I think [he] had approached one of the members and had shared some kind of vague words that somehow his mother was previously involved at this location or with the church and that today was going to be the day and referenced the pastor. Not specifically, but just said, today was the day and referenced the pastor.”
Continuing, he added that the police arrived on the scene and the suspicious individual was gone, then noted that “At some point, thereafter, church members or someone here at the church alerted another person about what had occurred, and the person came over here to just assist and see what was going on.”
But the individual apparently returned, with another individual then using a “long gun” to shoot him. Sheriff Gonzalez, describing that aspect of the incident, said, “The second individual allegedly fired at least two shots with a long gun towards the male that was approaching, running towards him. And the male fell and collapsed there and was subsequently pronounced deceased at that time.”
Watch Sheriff Gonzalez here:
The individual who used the firearm to stop the suspicious individual was apparently a longtime church member and employee of Texas EquuSearch, a nonprofit that provides “experienced, organized, and ethical volunteer search efforts for missing persons, utilizing the most suitable and up-to-date technologies and methodologies.”
Commenting on that individual, EquuSearch’s Tim Miller told ABC 13 “He’s a great member. He’s dedicated. He’s done wonderful work. He’s always there for people out there with missing loved ones,” Miller said. “He was here for the protection of the people at the church.“
The church, for its part, said in a statement posted to Facebook, “Lake Houston Friends and Family
Please be in prayer for our church and the families of all those involved in the fatal shooting that occurred on our property this morning around 10:30am. Already, there is misinformation circulating on social media, and I ask that you please rely on reputable news sources, information from our conference, and from Lake Houston Methodist Church. Please pass on prayers, not speculations. We are asking now that you lift up our congregation, staff, members and visitors at the church in your prayers. I ask also that you pray for the family of the person involved. FInally pray for Lake Houston Methodist Church and our ministries as we continue to move forward in faith in the Huffman, Crosby, Lake Houston area.”
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded video
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