A longstanding and bitter church scandal turned deadly Sunday when a Kentucky man, who accused a pastor of stealing his wife in 2006, fatally shot his now ex-wife's new husband, and then killed himself in front of his four children in the parking lot of a Dairy Queen.
A WCPO report says Zuriel Turk, 41, shot dead his ex-wife Amy's husband, Mark Kroening, 62, at about 6 p.m. as he dropped off his four stepchildren for a supervised visit with Turk. The children watched in horror as their father turned the gun on himself.
Covington Police Chief Spike Jones said soon after Turk fired several shots into Kroening's car he killed himself in front of his children, who are between the ages of 10 and 15.
Witnesses said after Turk shot himself, his four children ran to a nearby store.
"The girls were hysterical and said their real dad shot their stepdad," said Ron Cain, who works at Latonia Liquors.
"He kept shooting at the whole car. Next thing I hear is kids screaming and running," said Tiffany Irwin, who commented that she could hear screams coming from the Dairy Queen parking lot. "Next thing I know is he empties the clip and shoots himself in the head."
According to WCPO and Turk's blog, all parties involved are affiliated or were once affiliated with the Covington Baptist Temple in Kentucky. Turk is a former member.
The spurned father alleged that he and his ex-wife went to former pastor of the Covington church, William Frey, in 2006 seeking help with their troubled marriage. But instead of helping them stay together, Frey seduced Turk's wife.
"He seduced her. He told her he loved her more than I did," Turk told WCPO. It's an allegation that Frey initally denied, but he subsequently settled a civil lawsuit containing the charges filed by Turk for $3,000. He later resigned as pastor.
Turk had also accused Kroening of colluding with his ex-wife to keep him away from his children.
"Mark Kroening is your fake daddy and he is helping to keep you kidnapped from your real daddy," Turk wrote on his blog. "Mark Kroening helped convince judge Mehling to raise the ransom on you beyond what I can pay, and now I may be imprisoned for it. How is this love for you my children? If Mark Kroening ever tells you that he loves you or cares for you he is lying to you. Anyone that is victimizing and hating your father is also victimizing and hating you."
Turk's ex-wife accused him of inappropriately touching his children in his her divorce filing, but he refuted the claims and threatened to sue her.
According to WCPO, online criminal background checks showed Turk was charged with sexual abuse and intimidating a participant in a legal proceeding in 2006 in Kenton County. He was also charged with contempt of court in 2009. In 1993, he pleaded guilty to pointing a gun at someone else in Oklahoma City.
The Christian Post reached out to Covington Baptist Temple for comment Tuesday but there was no answer.