Pastor Fatally Shot While Preaching

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

LAKE CHARLES, La. — A Louisiana pastor was fatally shot as he preached to a crowd of more than 60 during a revival service Friday night, and a suspect has been arrested, law enforcement officials said.

The shooting occurred about 8:20 p.m. Friday at Tabernacle of Praise Worship Center in Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Kim Myers said Saturday. Sixty-five people were inside at the time, including the victim's wife, Chief Deputy Stitch Guillory said.

Deputies have no information on a motive or on whether the two men knew each other, Myers said.

A gunman walked into the church and shot Pastor Ronald J. Harris Sr. "as he was preaching," Myers said. Harris was pronounced dead at the scene.

Woodrow Karey, 53, of Lake Charles is charged with second-degree murder and was held in the parish jail Saturday, Myers said. Meyers said Karey's bond has been set at $1 million.

Myers said Karey shot Harris twice with a shotgun, once as he walked in to the church and the second time after Harris fell and Karey shot him at close range where he lay.

The gunman fled the church, but Myers said Karey called the Sheriff's Office and surrendered without incident. Karey directed deputies to two weapons he had discarded near where he was picked up, Myers said. One was a shotgun and the other was a .22 pistol.

Myers added Saturday that deputies were busy "interviewing everybody who was there at the church."

Family members who answered the telephone Saturday at the Harris home in Lake Charles said there would be no comment. There was no answer at a telephone listing for Karey or at Tabernacle of Praise.


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