A 21-year-old man hiding from police killed a pastor and injured two others following a car chase on Sunday.
According to the Associated Press, identified Mytrez Deunte Woolen of Marshall, Texas broke into Starrville Methodist Church early Sunday morning as police had been chasing him with dogs and drones after a car chase the night before.
Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith explained at a news conference that Wooden was chased by police on Saturday as he allegedly brandished a shotgun through the sunroof of a Volkswagen Jetta he was driving.
At the Methodist church, 62-year-old Pastor Mark Allen McWilliams discovered Woolen, who was hidden in the church bathroom, and ordered him to stop as he drew a gun at the suspect.
In response, Woolen grabbed the weapon and killed the pastor then stole his vehicle. Smith added that Woolen fled east until deputies arrested him in nearby Harrison County.
Woolen was also hospitalized Sunday afternoon with gunshot wounds to his hand, Smith added.
The incident was reported around 9:20 am, when Pastor McWilliams, along with his wife, Rosemary, and two others were preparing for their Sunday morning service.
According to KHOU11, Woolen shot at Rosemary but she managed to escape. As she was running away, however, Rosemary fell down and injured her shoulder. Officials note that Woolen also shot at a male victim, but his injuries were non-life-threatening.
Following the incident, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott extended his condolences in a statement.
“Our hearts are with the victims and the families of those killed or injured in this terrible tragedy,” Abbott said. “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.”
He explained that “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.”
Woolen was charged with first-degree assault and capital murder, the AP reported. He’s currently being held at Smith County Jail, with a bond set at $3.5 million.