A 26-year-old man who allegedly attempted to rob $50 from a parishioner at an Alabama church Sunday night was shot dead by a church employee.
"We have a sincere love for God and for every individual, as indicated by our motto 'Church With A HEART,'" the Crossroads Baptist Church declares on its website.
Police told the Dothan Eagle that would-be robber Steffon Parreese Valentez Tolver died at the church after an employee shot him once with his handgun after the man attempted to rob him at about 10:40 p.m.
"From the information I have received, two church employees were inside the building at the time the altercation occurred," Dothan Police Chief Steve Parrish told the publication. "An additional church employee had left the premises to run an errand, and arrived back after the suspect had entered into the church."
The Christian Post called the Dothan Police Department for details on what happened at the church Sunday and was told that only the captain could verify the details. Subsequent calls were not answered.
A first responder who was not authorized to speak told WTVY that Tolver attempted to rob the church while offerings collected Sunday were being prepared for transport to the bank. He allegedly encountered one church member outside and forced him into the building. That is when he was shot in the upper body. He attempted to flee the church but collapsed outside in the parking lot from his injuries, Parrish told the Eagle. He succumbed to his wound at 1:18 a.m. Monday.
"When we found him in the parking lot he had a knife, a medium sized knife next to him," Lt. Brian Smith told WTVY. He confirmed that there was no gun.
Calls made to Crossroads Baptist Church Wednesday were also not answered.
The Dothan Police Department is reportedly not pursuing any charges against the church employee, calling it an act of self-defense.
According to the Eagle, Alabama law allows for the deadly use of force if a person feels imminently threatened. A person is not required to retreat if that individual has a lawful right to be in that specific location.