Suspected Shooter Who Gunned Down Texas Pastor, Injured Two Others Arrested


A man suspected of fatally shooting a Texas pastor and wounding two others was located and arrested Sunday, authorities said.

On Saturday, law enforcement sought the driver of Volkswagen Jetta after calls came in about a man, later identified as Mytrez Deunte Woolen, 21, brandishing a firearm out of the sunroof, CNN reported citing the Smith County Sheriff’s Office. Woolen was located by officers at a convenience store, but the 21-year-old led cops on a 100-mph pursuit, ending in a crash near a local church, CNN reported.

Law enforcement set up a perimeter and scanned the woods near the crash to find the wanted man, the department said, according to CNN. Woolen, who initially evaded apprehension, was said to have entered the Starrville Methodist Church through “a broken window” Sunday after deputies lifted their search efforts, according to the sheriff’s office.

“ suspect backtracked his way — after deputies left the area — and came back and in order to get out of the cold, and entered a broken window and entered the church,” Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith said, CNN reported.

Pastor Mark Allen McWilliams, 62, who was inside the church during the purported break-in, held the 21-year-old at gunpoint, but Woolen “lunged at him”, wrestled the gun away and allegedly shot the religious leader, killing him, the sheriff’s department wrote, according to CNN. Another person was injured by gunfire during the incident, and third was injured after a fall, CNN reported.

Woolen was charged with aggravated assault while exhibiting a weapon, first-degree capital murder and aggravated assault causing serious bodily harm, according to CNN.

“Texas will seek swift justice for the shooter,” Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wrote in a Sunday tweet. “We thank law enforcement for their response. Keep the harmed in your prayers.”

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