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Local pastor shot dead during revival service, suspect arrested

Last Modified: Saturday, September 28, 2013 3:48 PM

By Johnathan Manning / American Press

A local pastor was shot and killed during a revival service Friday night, authorities and witnesses said.

Ronald J. Harris Sr., of the Tabernacle of Praise at 307 Deshotel Lane, died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Stitch Guillory said the alleged shooter, Woodrow Karey, 2808 Foret St., Iowa, turned himself in.

Karey, 53, will be charged with second-degree murder, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kim Myers said.

The shooting happened around 8:20 p.m. and the motive is still under investigation.

Around 50-60 people were in the service and all will be interviewed by detectives, Guillory said.

“We’re in the beginning stages of the investigation,” Guillory said. “We’ve got a long way to go and a lot of people to talk to. It’s very fortunate no one else was injured with so many people there.”

Parishioners described Karey as a former member.

After the shooting, church members milled around in the parking lot and on Deshotel Lane, all the way to Opelousas Street.

“He was a good man,” one parishioner said of Harris. “He loved everybody and I believe he was going to give a word.”

“When nobody else is at church, he’s here praying,” she said.

The church had brought in speaker from Georgia for the revival, members said.

The church was in the midst of praise and worship, when the shooting took place, witnesses said.

One church member said she at first thought the gunman was part of a skit.

A woman came in screaming followed by a gunman, a witness said.

Karey waved the gun around, pointed it at Harris and said “you,” a church member said.

The church member said Karey then shot Harris, stood over him and shot him again.

Several witnesses said they heard two shots.

Guillory said Karey exited the church and called the Sheriff’s Office to turn himself in. He was apprehended at the corner of Deshotel Lane and Opelousas Street.

• • •

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Posted By: Don't play with God On: 10/11/2013

Title: Hometown Citizen

How does one dare to step onto a pulpit knowing that you're full of sin? How dare you disrespect the role of a pastor and leader? How can a pastor preach to a congregation while having sex with multiple women in the church for years and years. How can the congregation tolerate this blasphemy? Shame on all of them. They were well aware of the sins of the pastor and chose to turn a blind eye to it. Woe to all of them. Judgement day is coming. Whats done in the dark will come out to the light. I pray for your souls, may God have mercy.

Posted By: ANDREA HARRISON On: 10/5/2013

Title: LOCAL PASTER SHOT...

This is in response to the comments made by Jennifer Walls / Wife of paster...
You can't understand how the gunman could walk into that church.......and nobody tried to stop him.
Would you be brave enough to try and stop someone with a gun to prevent him from shooting
someone else. This gunman did what a lot of gunman have done in the past - just walk into a
building and start shooting anything and anyone that moved. Those church members had no
idea that someone was going to walk into their church and shoot their paster. So what is it that
you "cannot understand" about this incident. It sounds as if you are partially blaming the parishoners for not stopping this man from shooting their "beloved" minister. These members
were "caught on surprise" like other people were "caught on surprise" when a gunman invaded
the navy base, the movie theater, the elementary schools, the malls, the high schools, the white house, the banks, army bases, populated open areas, etc. Were any of the innocent people who found themselves in the same situation as the parishoners of this church able to focus and pull themself together in a "split second" and stop the gunman from shooting people around them.
All these people were running for their lives just like these church members were probably running for their lives and you "WONDER" why nobody in that church tried to stop this gunman from shooting their paster. We see these types of incidents on TV, and read about them in newspapers, etc. but "NOBODY" knows how they are going to react when they find themselves
in a situation like this. We hear about these tyxpes of crimes and take them lightly because those crimes "happen to other people, not us". Pastors get shot and killed on the pulpits of other churches but not "our" church". Noooo, this scenario would "never" happen at "our" church. Well, it just did ! ! !
You also speak of "protecting" ministers from disgrundled offenders (members ?) who may
seek to physically harm them, bully them, and mentally abuse them, etc. You say that these types of negative behaviour that may be directed towards a minister, can escalate to a point where they can kill, destroy and discourage a pastor, family, and his flock.
WELL IF THE RUMORS ARE TRUE, that this minister had an alledged affair with this gunman's wife, or as the news stated that his wife said she was "raped" by this minister, we saw how the gunman dealt with the "DESTRUCTION OF HIS FAMILY" that may have been caused by the alledged ungodly behaviour between this minister and his wife. How does this pastors "FLOCK"
and the gunman's family recover from the "MENTAL ANQUISH" they have and will continue to endure for years to come because of this pastor's "BETRAYAL". Who "PROTECTED" the gunman's family from the alledged disrespectful behavior of this pastor due to his alledged "off limits" behaviour with the gunman's wife. Who "PROTECTS" the "FLOCK" from these "type" of ministers that are standing at pulpits preaching sermons that they, themselves don't practice. Do you think that this pastor was and is the only pastor that had or is having an illicit affair (straight or gay) with a member or members of his flock. You speak about a "GLOCK FOR THE FLOCK", but WHO PROTECTS US AND OUR CHILDREN FROM THESE KIND OF MINISTERS ! ! ! Maybe the members of the flock need to start carrying "PISTOLS FOR THE PASTORS ! ! !
THER ARE TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY. I'M NOT TAKING UP FOR THE GUNMAN NOR THE PASTOR BECAUSE THEY WERE BOTH WRONG. THEIR ACTIONS DESTROYED AND EMBARASSED BOTH OF THEIR FAMILIES. PRAYERS ARE NEEDED FOR BOTH OF THESE FAMILIES AND HOWEVER HARD IT WILL BE, AND IT WILL BE HARD, "FORGIVENESS IS THE KEY TO ANSWERED PRAYERS".

were "caught on surprise" like other people were "caught on surprise" when a gunman invaded
the navy base, the movie theater, the elementary schools, the malls, the high schools, the white house, the banks, army bases, populated open areas, etc. Were any of the innocent people who found themselves in the same situation as the parishoners of this church able to focus and pull themself together in a "split second" and stop the gunman from shooting people around them.
All these people were running for their lives just like these church members were probably running for their lives and you "WONDER" why nobody in that church tried to stop this gunman from shooting their paster. We see these types of incidents on TV, and read about them in newspapers, etc. but "NOBODY" knows how they are going to react when they find themselves
in a situation like this. We hear about these tyxpes of crimes and take them lightly because those crimes "happen to other people, not us". Pastors get shot and killed on the pulpits of other churches but not "our" church". Noooo, this scenario would "never" happen at "our" church. Well, it just did ! ! !
You also speak of "protecting" ministers from disgrundled offenders (members ?) who may
seek to physically harm them, bully them, and mentally abuse them, etc. You say that these types of negative behaviour that may be directed towards a minister, can escalate to a point where they can kill, destroy and discourage a pastor, family, and his flock.
WELL IF THE RUMORS ARE TRUE, that this minister had an alledged affair with this gunman's wife, or as the news stated that his wife said she was "raped" by this minister, we saw how the gunman dealt with the "DESTRUCTION OF HIS FAMILY" that may have been caused by the alledged ungodly behaviour between this minister and his wife. How does this pastors "FLOCK"
and the gunman's family recover from the "MENTAL ANQUISH" they have and will continue to endure for years to come because of this pastor's "BETRAYAL". Who "PROTECTED" the gunman's family from the alledged disrespectful behavior of this pastor due to his alledged "off limits" behaviour with the gunman's wife. Who "PROTECTS" the "FLOCK" from these "type" of ministers that are standing at pulpits preaching sermons that they, themselves don't practice. Do you think that this pastor was and is the only pastor that had or is having an illicit affair (straight or gay) with a member or members of his flock. You speak about a "GLOCK FOR THE FLOCK", but WHO PROTECTS US AND OUR CHILDREN FROM THESE KIND OF MINISTERS ! ! ! Maybe the members of the flock need to start carrying "PISTOLS FOR THE PASTORS ! ! !
THER ARE TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY. I'M NOT TAKING UP FOR THE GUNMAN NOR THE PASTOR BECAUSE THEY WERE BOTH WRONG. THEIR ACTIONS DESTROYED AND EMBARASSED BOTH OF THEIR FAMILIES. PRAYERS ARE NEEDED FOR BOTH OF THESE FAMILIES AND HOWEVER HARD IT WILL BE, AND IT WILL BE HARD, "FORGIVENESS IS THE KEY TO ANSWERED PRAYERS".
" />

Posted By: luckey77 On: 10/2/2013

Title: The Church

Bottom line is -- the church is a place where you should get SAVED-- not LAID. Too much of this has been going on for years in the Chruch--you should lift your head up to God and also your zipper. This was a crime of PASSION -you can be sure when this investigation is over with - it will be due to money or women-- and being the son of a minister it will probably be the latter. Now we can quote all the Bilble verses we want - but nowhere in the Bible does GOD allow you to get your "freak" on. Too many false prophets or "profits" in the church at the present time.

Posted By: C. Valentine On: 10/1/2013

Title: Prayer is the key!

The world has gone contrary just as the Bible says. We who are left behind must prayer fir the families & the nation. No one is exempt from evil. We have to pray more!
.

Posted By: Truth On: 10/1/2013

Title: The Message

God is not to be mocked.

Posted By: deuces to the devil On: 9/30/2013

Title: If a man

be messing with yo wife under the precept, pretense, deception, austerity, guise, and façade of being a person of faith and religion, they ain't no peaceful end. Preacher -man most likely had it coming. All you flock worshipers can just stick it - cause shooter -man had the courage to do what needed to be done, if that was indeed the situation. What else except the love of a woman gonna make man do that? huh??? You know i'm right.

Posted By: Kevin Brown On: 9/30/2013

Title: rumor

The rumor is that the preacher was sleeping with the shooter wife. That's why he ran!!!!

Posted By: J Evans On: 9/29/2013

Title: Violence in God's house is never acceptable

I don't know the details of what drove this deacon to kill his pastor. I am sure that the details will be forthcoming but whatever, there had to be a peaceful way to resolve this. My prayers are with the pastors family and with the deacon. As Christians we must be the first to forgive. God will do the judging and meat out the punishment. The world is constantly watching us and looking for signs of unchristian behavior so that they may bolster their excuses for unbelief. Let us be that beacon on the hill to guide a dying world through the darkness of sin.

Posted By: Audrey J On: 9/29/2013

Title: More Nerve Than The Law Allows

The nerve and hate to to be bold enough to walk into Church and shoot the one delivering the message!!!!!!
Whatever your troubles with this Pastor/man, it was not your responsibility to take matters into your own hands...God said "touch not my anointed". whatever the issue was, I guarantee God would take care of it......and can't nobody take care of God's business like He can. Now you the killer will no doubt have to spend the rest of your life in prison, & will probably have a lot of time to spend thinking of ways this problem could have been solved other than you spending life in prison. I pray you recover your senses and stop doing the devil's bidding.
I pray peace and encouragement to the Pastor's family, the Church members and the members of the killer's family who have to live this nightmare as they all walk thru the valley of death and its subsequent loss.

I pray peace and encouragement to the Pastor's family, the Church members and the members of the killer's family who have to live this nightmare as they all walk thru the valley of death and its subsequent loss." />

Posted By: Mark Klinefelter On: 9/28/2013

Title: Tabernacle of Praise in Christian County, IL Brother Mark

I Lost Two nephews in the last ten years..... You have our deepest sympathy in Jesus,, God Protect Our Churches and bless his people of His FLOCK..................................................................................

Posted By: Hazel Dykes On: 9/28/2013

Title: Pastor killed

This happened in my home town in a church that began as a satellite church from my home church. It's a horrible thing to happen and no one knows the reason for it. (Except maybe the devil wanted to shake people's faith). The reason they probably charged 2nd degree is that it is very hard to prove first degree and its pretty much a shoe in for second degree unless the defense pleas temporary insanity. Also with 2nd degree they can attach a rider that doesn't allow for parole ever.

Posted By: Unknown On: 9/28/2013

Title: We never know what people are going through

The shooter was a very close friend of my family; always the mediator, the peacemaker, very humble; something very bad had to be going on this is not his character.. Praying for both families

Posted By: Jennifer Walls, wife of pastor/Army Chaplain On: 9/28/2013

Title: Local Pastor Shot...It's Time to Protect Our Pastors!

This news came to our family last night and it gripped our hearts. I have served in ministry with my husband for over 24 years and we have a deep love and respect for God's House (The Church) and a kindred spirit towards other pastors and the persecution they so often receive from a few within, formerly within, and outside their flocks. The forgiveness and self-sacrifice of pastors and their families are rarely understood to their magnitude, but this trait can also make them an easy target. I cannot help but wonder why the gunman could come in, shoot him, approach and shoot him again, then walk out without anyone trying to stop him.
Some seminaries, churches, and other public places that have at least one person who is trained and responsibly carrying a concealed handgun with the goal of protecting others in the event of something like this occurring. There is so much publicized about "gun control," but very little articles will share the negative effects of shaming responsible citizens from bringing their legal protection into a public place; even for a cup of coffee (No thanks, Starbucks...Community will do just fine!). There is no doubt that a person trained and qualified to carry a concealed handgun would have not only known what to do to save this pastor's life, but they would have done it. Even those unarmed could have been trained to know how to stop the shooter, but where there is not plan, people will perish.
October is designated as Pastor Appreciation month. Maybe it’s time to recognize pastors with a church-wide plan to protect them from disgruntled offenders; from those who plan physical harm as well as those who mentally abuse and bully pastors: one behavior can easily escalate into another and both can kill, destroy and discourage a pastor, his family, and his flock.
My husband and I are personally aware of pastors who carry concealed handguns; one who refers to his as, “A Glock to protect the Flock.” A pastor cannot protect himself and the members of his church without help. I encourage those responsible citizens who are licensed carriers to discretely offer to be a part of such a plan within their church.

October is designated as Pastor Appreciation month. Maybe it’s time to recognize pastors with a church-wide plan to protect them from disgruntled offenders; from those who plan physical harm as well as those who mentally abuse and bully pastors: one behavior can easily escalate into another and both can kill, destroy and discourage a pastor, his family, and his flock.
My husband and I are personally aware of pastors who carry concealed handguns; one who refers to his as, “A Glock to protect the Flock.” A pastor cannot protect himself and the members of his church without help. I encourage those responsible citizens who are licensed carriers to discretely offer to be a part of such a plan within their church.
" />

Posted By: RJ Matthews On: 9/28/2013

Title: Why?

This is horrible in so many ways and to so many people. May God send his angels to encamp around all who have been impacted by this senseless crime.

Posted By: Carol Dixon On: 9/28/2013

Title: Why just second degree?

I don't understand the law. Why wouldn't this be first degree? The shooter knew the pastor and pointedly said 'you'. singling him out. Then fired twice.

Posted By: Pastor James Mullins On: 9/28/2013

Title: Prayers for Pastor's Family & church body

Our prayers are with you all! That God will sustain you all in such time!
Know your Apostolic family across the nation is standing with you!

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