Two people were killed and one was injured in a shooting by a man at a church in Alabama on Thursday evening, officials said.
Vestavia Hills Police Capt. Shane Ware said officers responded to reports of an active shooter at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, at around 6:22 p.m. local time. Ware said one suspect is in custody and there is no additional threat to the community.
“From what we’ve gathered from the circumstances of this evening, a lone suspect entered a small group church meeting and began shooting,” Ware told a news briefing late Thursday.
Ware did not identify the shooter or say whether investigators had determined a motive.
The man injured in the shooting was undergoing treatment at a local hospital, Ware confirmed. The identity of the victims or the condition of the injured person was not immediately available.
Ware later said that the FBI, the US Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco were assisting with the investigation.
According to the church’s website, the potluck was to be held between 5 and 7 pm on Thursday. The Rev. Kelly Hudlow, who works in the office of Bishop Glenda Curry of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, told local station WVTM-13 that they are asking the community to come together in support of the victims and their loved ones.
“We are Episcopalians; we believe in Jesus and we believe prayer helps,” Hudlow said. “We are currently praying for healing and protection for all those affected and affected.”
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Ive of Alabama’s government said in a statement that she was praying for the victims and the community.
“I am glad to hear that the shooter is in custody,” she said. “This should never happen – in a church, in a store, in town or anywhere. We continue to monitor the situation closely.”
Vestavia Hills, an affluent suburb of approximately 40,000 residents, is approximately 7 miles south of Birmingham, Alabama.
The Alabama shooting is the latest attack on a place of worship. In May, one person was killed and five others were injured in a shooting at a Southern California church, which officials described as a “politically motivated hate incident” against the Taiwanese community.
It comes after high-profile mass shootings across the country in recent weeks, including in Buffalo, New York, where 10 black people were killed in a grocery store; Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were killed in an elementary school; and Tulsa, Oklahoma, where four people were killed in a medical facility.