Saturday, June 10, 2023

America: Services to resume at church where 3 killed in shooting

Vestavia Hills, June 19 ( Associated Press) Worship services are set to resume Sunday at the Alabama church where a gunman shot and killed three senior citizens at a potluck dinner earlier in the week .

St Stephen’s Episcopal Church announced that members would gather for morning worship “in view of the immeasurable loss and mourning in the hope of the resurrection of Christ”. Walter “Bart” Rainey, 84, of Irondale, Sarah Yeager, 75, of Pelham, and a third person were killed in a shooting attack Thursday night. Police did not release the name of the third victim, an 84-year-old woman, citing her family’s request for privacy.

Robert Findlay Smith, 70, is charged with murder in connection with the deaths of three church members. Police have not disclosed the reason for the shooting.

Susan Salin, a survivor, told ABC 33/40 that the group was having a “happy” dinner gathering when the shots suddenly sounded. She said she fell to the floor and realized that two of her friends had been shot.

“I made my way to my friends and one was unconscious and one was conscious. But I was able to pat them on the shoulder and just keep saying, you love me. you are loved. You’re not alone,” she told the station.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives records show that Smith is a licensed firearm dealer whose business is listed at his home address. He received a warning letter from federal officials in 2018 for failing to keep a record of all firearm dispositions, according to reporting compiled by The Trace and USA. That report said there were 86 firearms in inventory during the inspection period.

The Rev. Doug Carpenter, a former church pastor, said the gunman had come to the gathering, refused to offer a plate of food, and then opened fire. Carpenter was not present in the meeting, but he did talk to the people present there.

Another member of the church, a man in his 70s, grabbed a folding chair and charged the gunman, according to Carpenter. “He hit her with a folding chair, slammed her to the ground, took the gun from her and hit her in the head with his gun,” said the retired pastor.

(Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from a syndicated feed; only the image and title may have been reproduced by

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