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Florida Pastor Dies 5 Months After Being Shot in Church

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By Setrige Crawford, Christian Post Reporter
February 21, 2012|4:21 pm

A Florida pastor has been found dead in his home while recovering from a shooting in his church five months ago.

Rev. Carl Stewart, 65, died Thursday in his home in Lakeland, Fla., according to The Ledger. Stewart was last seen on Wednesday and friends began to worry about his whereabouts when Stewart didn't return their calls. The Polk County Sheriff's Office said that a friend went to check on Stewart on Thursday and found him dead.

Stewart had previously suffered the gruesome shooting during a Sunday service sermon at the Greater Faith Christian Center Church. On the morning of Sept. 18, 2011, Jeremiah Fogle, 57, walked into the church and opened fire.

Stewart and another pastor, Rev. William Boss were wounded before a minister, Derrick Foster, intervened and disarmed him.

Detectives say that Fogle lived near the church and was a former colleague of Boss, according to the Miami Herald. Authorities also found the Fogle's wife, Theresa Fogle, dead at their home.

Stewart suffered gunshot wounds to the head, ear, shoulder and middle of his back. Results of an autopsy are still pending and a cause of death hasn't yet been determined.

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Stewart spent his final months recovering from his injuries. He suffered a collapsed lung in October and was undergoing physical therapy. He even needed a walker to get around, yet he was still grateful to be alive, according to The Ledger.

"I'm grateful to be alive," Stewart said in October. "I'm just praying that God nurses me and takes care of me like he has."

Fogle is being held at the Polk County Jail without bail. He faces a first-degree murder charge, three counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of shooting into an occupied building, according to the Miami Herald.

Polk County Sheriff's spokeswoman, Carrie Eleazer, said it is up to prosecutors whether to file additional charges against Fogle.

"There are no further charges at this time against Jeremiah Fogle in regards to this case," Eleazer said. "The State Attorney's Office will make the decision, if applicable, to charge Fogle additionally if the autopsy results show that Mr. Stewart died as a result his gunshot wounds."

 

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