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Sheriff Describes Motives of Deacon Who Shot Pastor to Death During Revival Service

Story takes an even sadder turn.

The tragic story of a former deacon who shot his pastor Friday night at a revival service in Louisiana just got more tragic.

Sheriff Tony Mancuso told reporters that pastor Ronald Harris may have had a sexual relationship with the wife of suspect Woodrow Karey—and it may not have been consensual.

"Deputies say they were told by [Karey that] he intercepted some 'inappropriate text messages' from his wife to the pastor," KATC reported today. "The sheriff says he has not confirmed that yet because they still need to get a search warrant to look through the phone. Kerry allegedly confronted his wife, and then on Wednesday she filed a rape complaint on Harris."

Harris was singing at the Tabernacle of Praise Worship Center when Karey, 53, walked in and shot the pastor twice with a shotgun in front of more than 60 people. Harris's 31-year-old daughter was among five backing vocalists at the time. Talisha Harris said her father fell right in front of her children after being shot.

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Kim Myers told Reuters that Karey fled the building, but called the sheriff's office a few minutes later to turn himself in.

Karey was charged with second-degree murder and is being held at Calcasieu Correction Center on a $1 million bond.

Mancuso also said Harris was once a friend of Karey's. Karey is a deacon in the church, but relatives said he quit attending the church four years ago.

Talisha Harris told KATC, "[My father] was a strong person and whatever came his way he still stood on the word of God. He stood he never wavered or anything."

CT has previously reported on the rising percentage of church deaths due to violent attacks, which have caused church officials to rethink church security. CT also reported on a church member who saved a congregation from a gunman and a 1999 church shooting that killed seven people.

Related Topics:Church Safety; Violence
Posted:September 30, 2013 at 3:10PM
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