A 26-year-old man said to be the son of a deacon at Asia Baptist Church in Lexington, Miss., is dead after being shot by police in the parking lot during Sunday service. He was shot after reportedly discharging his weapon amid a dispute between the members of the congregation and the pastor they had just voted out.
The man, identified by the Holmes County Coroner's office Cacedrick White, reportedly died Sunday afternoon at a hospital after the parking lot confrontation that occurred around 12:15 p.m.
White arrived at Asia Baptist Church after police had been called to escort the fired pastor from the property after a fight reportedly broke out between the pastor, his family and church members. Local media report that deacons had tried to fire the pastor, not named, but that the minister disputed the decision and refused to leave.
When White arrived, police officers were reportedly in the doorway of the church. Officials say the 26-year-old exited his vehicle holding a shotgun and fired into the air, and ignored a police order to drop his weapon. He was shot at multiple times. It was not immediately clear if White was shot by a single officer, or if multiple officers fired at the victim.
"It was getting out of hand and causing a disturbance, so they called (the) Lexington Police Department. When (police) got here, they needed backup, so they called the sheriff's office, and we sent one deputy out here. Then some shots were fired, and the deputy called for backup," Holmes County Sheriff's Office Capt. Sam Chambers told WAPT-TV.
White's mother said she did not hear officers warn her son before they opened fire.
"And they were shooting, and they were shooting, and the next thing I knew, my son was laying on the ground," Ada said. "And I told them, I said, 'Y'all have shot my son.'" The deceased man's father said his son only came to Asia Baptist Church to protect him amid the dispute over the pastor's dismissal.
According to officials, no one else was hurt or detained during the altercation.