Authorities said a single gunman opened fire inside a suburban Alabama church on Thursday evening. He killed two people and wounded a third at a small group gathering before being apprehended.
According to Police Captain Shane Ware of the Birmingham suburb of Vestavia Hills, the attack took place at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church. At around 6.20 p.m., he said, dispatchers received a call reporting an active shooter in the area.
A suspect has been captured, according to Ware, and there is “no threat to the community at this time.” Police declined to name the culprit or victims, or to disclose any details about the attack, stating that a press conference would be held on Friday.
Ware had previously stated at a press conference that one person had been killed and two others had been sent to the hospital.
A “Boomers Potluck” was advertised on the church’s website for Thursday night. The poster stated, “There will be no programme; simply eat and have time for fellowship.”
The shooting occurred little over a month after a man opened fire on Taiwanese parishioners at a church in Southern California, one person was killed and five more were injured.
It also comes nearly seven years to the day after nine people were killed at a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, by an avowed white supremacist.
Investigators stayed at the Vestavia Hills scene far into the night, with yellow police tape encircling the church complex and emergency police and fire trucks with flashing lights blocking the road to the church.
Agents from the FBI, the US Marshals Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Explosives were rushed to the scene.
People huddled and prayed nearby. The Reverend Kelley Hudlow, an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Alabama, told WBRC that the shooting had shocked both the church and the community.
“It’s mind-boggling. In a live interview with the station, she stated, “Saint Stephen’s is a community founded on love, prayers, and grace, and they are going to come together.” “People of all faiths are coming together to pray to hope for healing.”
She stated she was receiving messages of support from all around the United States and the world. “We require everyone’s participation. Pray, reflect, contemplate, and send love to this community because we will need it all “she stated
In May and June, there were many high-profile shootings, beginning with a racist attack on a store in Buffalo, New York on May 14 that killed ten Black people. The following week, a gunman opened fire at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 children and two adults.