The Rev. Danny Kirk Sr. was killed yesterday after a man drove his car into the church and then attacked the pastor with an electric guitar. Members of Kirk's Greater Sweethome Missionary Baptist Church have been left stunned by the entire ordeal.
According to Police Chief Dan Dennis, the assailant drove his car into a church wall, then began attacking Rev. Kirk in the church parking lot before following him inside. The church secretary called 911, but by the time authorities arrived, Kirk was dead, and they had to use a Taser gun in order to subdue the assailant.
No motive is known just yet, or whether the suspect knew Kirk before the attack, but parishioners recall a loving man of God who "was a man of integrity. He would wear jeans or a sweat suit because he said he never knew how he would be needed to help, and that's what a pastor does," associate minister Claudie Loftin told the Associated Press.
"He really was concerned about our souls," added Montoya McNeil. "You looked forward to being here. I'm not asking God why, because I know where he (Kirk) is, but we won't get those big bear hugs and those great sermons anymore," she lamented.
The suspect later died at a hospital, leaving many more questions than answers in this case. Chief Dennis said that an autopsy would be performed in order to determine an exact cause of death and to see if drugs may have played a role in the attack.
The Rev. Kirk founded the Greater Sweethome Missionary Baptist Church in 1995 in a strip mall before building the church now used. Members have gathered to mourn the loss of their pastor as well as a friend and confidant. There's no word yet on when services will be held to honor Kirk.