STARRVILLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A pastor was killed and two people were injured after a shooting at an East Texas church on Sunday, authorities said.
The Smith County Sheriff’s Office said they responded to a shooting at Starrville Methodist Church, about 15 miles northeast of Tyler, at around 9:20 a.m. Arriving deputies found two people shot.
According to the department, there were no services at the time of the shooting.
Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith said the suspected shooter had been involved in a pursuit on Saturday night that lasted about two hours. Smith did not say why authorities were chasing him.
On Sunday morning, the pastor of Starrville Methodist Church confronted the suspect who apparently hid in the church’s bathroom, according to Smith.
The sheriff said the pastor drew his gun and ordered the suspect to stop but the suspect was able to disarm him. The pastor and another person were then shot before the suspect allegedly stole the pastor’s vehicle and fled the scene, Smith said. A third person was injured in a fall.
The pastor was pronounced dead, while the other person was taken to a hospital for surgery.
Smith said the suspect was eventually arrested in Harrison County. The suspect was also taken to a hospital to treat gunshot wounds in his hand, Smith said. It is unclear how he was shot.
The suspect was later identified as Mytrez Deunte Woolen, 21. He was booked into Smith County Jail for capital murder and two counts of aggravated assault, with a bond set at $3.5 million.
Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement on the incident:
“Our hearts are with the victims and the families of those killed or injured in this terrible tragedy. I am grateful for the law enforcement officers who apprehended the suspect, and I ask Texans to join Cecilia and me in praying for those affected by this horrific shooting. The State of Texas is working closely with first responders and local officials to ensure that justice is served and that the Starrville community has the resources it needs during this time.”
Further details on the shooting were not immediately released as authorities continue to investigate.
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