- (Photo: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)
A lone gunman walked into the Tabernacle of Praise Worship Center in Lake Charles, Louisiana and shot Reverend Ronald J. Harris, Sr. as he led a worship service. After Harris fell to the ground, the gunman fired again, killing him at the scene and in front of at least 50 worshipers.
Woodrow Karey Jr., 53, is believed to be the shooter and fled the scene after committing the murder. He later turned himself in to police and was arrested just one block away from the church. Karey also showed police where he had discarded his weapons, which included the shotgun used to kill Harris and a .22 pistol.
Karey is a former deacon at the church and reportedly left the church four years ago. Police are still trying to work out a motive for the crime while Karey has been charged with second-degree murder and is being held on $1 million bond at the Calcasieu Parish Prison.
Police are also still interviewing all those in attendance at Friday night's service, which includes between 50 and 60 people.
"It is quite shocking, and I can imagine it was chaotic," Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Kim Myers told Reuters.
"It was just kind of chaotic," Talisha Harris, Rev. Harris' daughter, told CNN. "It was like everybody was everywhere. He was a strong person, and whatever came his way, he still stood on the word of God," she said of her father. "He never wavered."
Talisha is admittedly confused as to why Karey would target her father years after leaving the church but is proud of the man her father was, both inside and outside of the church.
"My dad was a great father. He was an awesome grandfather. He was an awesome preacher-teacher. He had a big heart. He loved everybody, wanted to always help," Talisha said.
The community has organized a candlelight vigil at the Worship Center on Teusday, October 1 at 7:00 p.m. and a memorial service at the True Light Missionary Baptist Church, also at 7:00 p.m.