The pastor of a small church in Houma, La., has killed himself after a hit-and-run involving a 7-year-old boy, who survived the incident.
Houma Police said that 53-year-old pastor Robert McGuire of Genesis Baptist Church was driving down a street in his gold Chrysler 300 when he struck the 7-year-old boy who was riding his motor scooter, Houma Today reported. The boy, who was not named, was apparently knocked unconscious by the hit, but was treated at Terrebonne General Medical Center and is reportedly recovering well.
When police tracked the Chrysler to McGuire's home, they found the pastor dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
It was not immediately made clear why the young boy was on a motor scooter, or where his parents or guardians were at the time of the incident.
An investigation into the hit-and-run and the apparent suicide was underway.
Not much is known about the pastor and the church, who do not have a website or a phone number available online, although Houma Today noted that McGuire had been in charge of Genesis Baptist for over five years.
Readers on varying sites have tried to come up with possible reasons for the pastor's actions – with some believing McGuire might have been focused on his reputation above all things.
"Some people actually value their good name and their reputation in the community more than their life. Too bad it turned out this way," one reader on Nola.com offered.
"He will always be remembered as the pastor who did a hit and run and then killed himself. I guess he wasn't worried about his name and more about the possibility of doing time," added another.
Others, however, said that McGuire was a good man and called the incident a tragedy. A user on Houma Today who claimed to have known the pastor said that his family and the family of the boy need to be left alone at this time of loss.
"Let us pray for McGuire, his family for their loss and pray for the child and his family...I knew McGuire and he was a good man...this is tragic for both families," she wrote.
Another user on the website added: "So sad to lose such a good man, I just saw him on Saturday, he was a man of God and I trust the Lord is watching over his family and the boy's family."
Jones Funeral Home has said that a service for the pastor would be held sometime next week.