Tragedy struck when an Ohio pastor was allegedly shot and killed by his brother during church service, according to CNN. At approximately 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, churchgoers stated that Daniel Schooler, 68, of Dayton, walked into St. Peters Missionary Baptist Church during prayers and sat down. When the choir started singing, he reportedly emerged from his seat and went into the office of 70-year-old Pastor Rev. William Schooler, who is also his brother, and opened fire.
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According to church member Alberta Blayth, Daniel was in the pastor’s office no more than a minute before she “heard two shots.” Her immediate reaction was to get everyone out of the church and out of harm’s way. Blayth added that as she and about 20 other people in the church were exiting the building, she “kept hearing shooting, shooting. Bang, bang, bang.”
Ohio police officials were called to the scene where they arrested Daniel, and took him to Montgomery County Jail where he is facing murder charges. The pastor, who was shot during church service, was immediately rushed to a local hospital where he later died.
A motive was not immediately clear, but Ohio police officials believe that the church shooting was “not a random act of violence,” as there were no other injuries during the shooting. Sgt. Creigee Coleman stated that it “was a domestic situation between family members. The public is safe. It’s not a person going around arbitrarily firing shots inside churches.”
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However, family members say that Daniel has a history of mental issues and a violent past. In 2001, court records show that he was charged with “felonious assault with a firearm specification and carrying a concealed weapon.”
Sources say that he knocked a woman, 27, unconscious and “cut her with a small knife and threatened her son.” After his conviction in 2002, he spent two years in prison. But nearly three years after his release, he was accused of striking his friend with a hammer and a golf club, according to the Press Democrat.
The pastor’s friend, Ronnie Moreland, stated that he had “deep roots in the community,” because not only was he a pastor at St. Peters Missionary Baptist Church, but he was a teacher with the Dayton school district for more than two decades, and had been an interim president of the Dayton school board. Before the pastor was shot and killed during church service, he was the current president at the local Baptist ministers union.
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“He was a beloved leader. It’s hard to put into words what has happened,” said Moreland.
“He did everything he could for the community,” added Blayth. “He really wanted to help people.”
Family members were left traumatized after learning that Daniel allegedly shot and killed his brother. The brother’s niece, Joyce Napier, stated that she “would think it has to be something’s going on in his [Daniel] head to do something like that, because we were raised to love. Family matters — that’s the way were raised.”
“They were both from the same tree. So they were both good guys, good men, good uncles.”
Napier added that the Schooler brothers were very close until Daniel became ill and drifted away from the family. “We lost two uncles,” she said. “One to the crime and one to death. But because we know God, we’re going to stick together and get through this.”
After learning about the church shooting that resulted in the death of Pastor Rev. William Schooler, the Community Progress Institute of Dayton released a statement that stated: “We are saddened to be here today at the site of yet another terrible act of violence. Let us pause for a moment of silence in memory of William Schooler.”
The Dayton Police Department is currently investigating the church shooting.
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