2 killed, 1 wounded in shooting at Alabama church; suspect in custody
Two people were killed and a third wounded in a shooting at a church in a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, Thursday night, police said. Police have taken custody of a suspect who has not been identified.
The Vestavia Hills Police Department said it received a call of an active shooter at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church at approximately 6: 22 p.m. local time.
On Thursday night, Vestavia Hills police Capt. Shane Ware said that three people were shot on Thursday night in Vestavia Hills. Two people died, and another was being treated in a hospital. The condition of the third victim was not known at this time.
According to Ware, the suspect entered the church during a group meeting and opened fire. The church had posted on its website that it was holding a potluck dinner between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Ware didn’t provide a possible motive or any further details on the circumstances of the shooting, though he said police believe there’s no further threat to the community. The suspect was not immediately identified.
The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service were among several federal and local agencies taking part in the investigation.
Rev. Kelley Hudlow of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama said to reporters, “This happens in other places.” It’s not likely to happen in the Birmingham area, but you don’t believe it will. It is quite shocking. We do know that St Stephen’s is a church built on love, prayers, and grace. They’re going together. “
“We’re connected to a network of churches across the world,” she added, “and so we’re getting messages from people from all over the United States and around the world praying for this community tonight. “
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey released a statement describing the shooting as “shocking” and “tragic,” adding that “This should never have happened — in a city, in a shop, or anywhere else.” “
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