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‘Hit the floor’: Bishop protects churchogoers as shooting breaks out after service

Church shooting
Police respond to a shooting outside Reformation of Holiness Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on July 31, 2022. |

The bishop of a Milwaukee church possibly saved congregants' lives as they found themselves caught in a deadly crossfire outside the church building right after the Sunday service ended.

"Upon them coming out of the church, a car pulled right here and began to fire at another car that was behind them," Bishop Henry Kilpatrick of Reformation of Holiness Church told WISN 12 News.

"There was a massive shooting right here. Me and one of the deacons began to push the people back on inside and tell them to hit the floor, get down on the floor, and they got down on the floor," added Kilpatrick, who founded the church 24 years ago with his late wife, Rose.

No churchgoer was injured.

Kilpatrick further told WTMJ-TV, that were are a lot of kids in the area.

"And I'm just thanking God that no one got shot today. Because they could have, the way the bullets were flying," he said. 

Several shootings have taken place in the neighborhood over the last few days, but the one on Sunday was the worst, Kilpatric said.

"People in this area know, as well as I know, that this is one of the worst areas in the city," he told WISN 12. "Why am I here? I chose to be here to help the people in this area." 

Authorities found at least 17 shell casings, including one just feet from the church's stoop, MTMJ-TV reports. WISN 12 News cameras spotted at least 20 casings and more down the block.

"Most people would run away from an area like this," Kilpatrick said. "But this is an area God wants us in. An area you can witness to somebody and help better somebody else's life."

Kilpatrick said he wants an increased police presence in the area. 

"Why not put patrols in the area where the crime is going on?" he asked. "They know this is a crime area."

Apostle Reginald Alston Sr. told WISN that he was upset with how long it took for police to respond. 

"When I went to call 911, they said someone would be out here shortly," he said. "It was getting close to 15, 20 minutes. I used someone else's phone and called again."

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