- (photo: Twitter/Jenny Doren)
- (Photo: Twitter/Kevin Wetherington)
A man who died while seeking help on the campus of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, Monday was not a member of the congregation, according to the megachurch's pastor Tony Evans.
The man, identified as 43-year-old Linton Wilgus, was found "with puncture wounds to the neck" by a witness who was on campus for an early-morning prayer meeting at the church, according to the Dallas Police Department's media relations manager, Maj. Max Geron.
Wilgus reportedly had pulled his car into the parking lot and spoke to the witness, a church member. When the church member noticed his bloody neck wound, the person entered the church and called 911.
Wilgus followed the person into the church, where he lunged at a second witness who approached him. The man "became combative with witnesses until (the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department) arrived," Geron reported. Wilgus was declared dead at the scene.
"There is no connection to the church and detectives do not believe parishioners have any reason for concern related to this incident," Geron added in his Twitter updates.
"Some of our members tried to help him," pastor Evans told local media, explaining that the dead man was a "nonmember" of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. Evans said the man was not known by any members on campus.
He added, "We are just glad our members are safe. We want to find out what happened to the nonmember."
Emergency officials were called to the campus of the 10,000-member church at 5:50 a.m., and police officers "spent a lot of time in the church's parking lot Monday," according to WFAA-TV. A car was towed from the megachurch's parking lot, although law enforcement officials declined to confirm whether the car belonged to Wilgus.
Both the main worship center of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, whose listed address is 1808 West Camp Wisdom Road, and its nearby school were shut down while police officers were investigating the incident. The incident was initially reported as a "fatal cutting," but law enforcement officials said the cause of death had yet to be determined.