Sunday, July 27, 2008

Church Shootings

Church shootings in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Knoxville, Tennessee, USA, have left ten injured and at least two people dead this weekend.

A man walked into a Knoxville, Tennessee, church and opened fire Sunday, July 27, 2008, injuring 7 people, various local media have reported.

The incident took place at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Church at 10:15 a.m.

Church members said children from the congregation's summer theater workshop were performing a musical when the shooting occurred. A children's production of "Annie" was taking place at the time of the shooting.

Steve Drevik, a church member, described the shooter as a man with long blond hair, who appeared to be in his 40s. He said he walked into the sanctuary and opened fire with a shotgun, shooting indiscriminately. No children are believed to have been hit by the gunfire.

Seven people were transported to an area hospital. The extent of their injuries is unknown.

The alleged shooter is in custody.

Update: A man died in Sunday's church massacre in Tennessee when he stood in front of a gunman who fired on congregation members, a witness said.

Greg McKendry was the only immediate death in the incident at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, the Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel reported.

"Greg McKendry stood in the front of the gunman and took the blast to protect the rest of us," witness Barbara Kemper said.

Capt. Brent Seymour, a spokesman for the Knoxville Fire Department, said police had a suspect in custody, CNN reported.

Knoxville's WBIR-TV reported only six of the injured individuals suffered gunshot wounds in the attack. The seventh injury victim only suffered an ankle injury, the TV station said.

The TV station added that no children were thought to have been hurt and two of the hospitalized victims may be serious condition.

Knoxville's WVLT-TV said the gunman may have been restrained by members of the congregation following the shooting spree.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, July 26, 2008, three men were injured in a church shooting in Canada. Early Saturday morning, Toronto woke up to a murder in the least likely of places: church property. Devon Wynter, 40, was found dead in a hall underneath the Disciples Revival Church. He was pronounced dead in hospital.

Two other men were also injured in the crossfire. One was hit by a stray bullet. The other hurt himself as he raced from the scene. The wound on his leg, believed to be a cut from a piece of glass, was so severe he thought he had been shot.

Both men are expected to be fine.

Sunday church services are going ahead as usual.

Cops have combed the area for clues, lifting fingerprints from the door and even searching a nearby stream.

Police say many of the 500 witnesses on scene (a dance was occurring) have been cooperative. If you have information that could help their investigation, give them a call.

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