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Louisiana Pastor Shot, Killed During Church Service

Louisiana pastor shot, killed in front of church

A Louisiana pastor was shot and killed in front of his own congregation, during the service.

Gunmen usually don’t get up the nerve to walk into a church and literally shoot the messenger while he’s preaching. That’s what happened at the Tabernacle of Praise Worship Center in Lake Charles on Friday. In the latest wave of shootings including the unfortunate slaughtering of innocents at a Washington, D.C. Navy yard, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, a gunman simply walked in and killed the man in front of the people.

The suspect currently in custody, Woodrow Karey, 53, walked into the church as Pastor Ronald J. Harris Sr. was preaching almost ironically in a revival service, and fired several rounds at the pastor. 65 people including the preacher’s wife witnessed the gunman watching the pastor fall over before standing over him and proceeding to fire one more round into the deceased.

The Louisiana pastor shot was pronounced dead at the scene after the gunman fled.

Gunman Woodrow Karey later called the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, told the dispatcher where he was, and turned himself in. He was true to his word and arrested shortly after. It is unclear if the gunman and Pastor Harris had known each other previously, and there is no known motive as of yet for why Woodrow Karey did what he had.

Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kim Meyers said the gunman surrendered without further incident. She adds that investigators are busy today interviewing the congregation who witnessed the brutal murder.

Family members of the Louisiana pastor shot and killed in front of his church refused to comment on the situation, most likely grieving his death. Nobody at the church answered the building’s phone number given to authorities, for what may be the same reason.

What do you think the motive might have been for the Louisiana pastor shot in his own church in the middle of service?

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8 Responses to “Louisiana Pastor Shot, Killed During Church Service”

  1. Charles Allen

    It's hard to speculate what drove a man to take another's life regardless of the wrong. This congregation of Church members are no exception. The truth will stand the test of time and everything will be revealed as testimony to all who know or have knowledge of the going and coming of both individual which caused them to cross each others path in so a violent way. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

  2. Mark N Starla Traina


    Pastor shot and killed during La. church service!

    The NAAWP calls for an END to senseless BLACK on BLACK VIOLENT CRIME! Our HEARTS go out to all the TOTALLY INNOCENT MEN, WOMEN and CHILDREN that WITNESSED this HORUBLE EVENT! GOD be with this CHUCH CONGREGATION during these very difficult times.

    Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office
    Woodrow Karey, 53, is charged with shooting Pastor Ronald J. Harris Sr. Friday evening as he was preaching in Lake Charles, La.
    Pastor Ronald J. Harris Sr. was shot "as he was preaching" by a gunman who's now in custody facing a second-degree murder charge.
    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.
    Myers said Harris was shot twice by the gunman. The walked into the church while Harris was preaching and shot him, then hit him again when Harris fell to the floor.
    The gunman "walked up to him and shot him at close range," 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.
    The gunman left the church, but Myers said Karey called the sheriff's office and surrendered.
    Myers said after picking up Karey, deputies found two guns in a wooded area — one was a shotgun, the other a .22-caliber pistol.
    Myers said Karey has no known criminal history.
    Myers said deputies were "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.

    certified school psychologist/economist/civil rights activist/504-231-3056

    SPECIAL REQUEST: The NAAWP is EMPLORING AMERICANS of all RACES, CREEDS, GENDERS and COLORS to STOP KILLING one another, because VIOLENCE only BEGETS MORE VIOLENCE, thereby, never really resolves anything!(TRAINAISM, 2013)

  3. Marion Ambler

    I have seen a lot of speculation on another site about this; however Pastor Fred Winters was gunned down in his church in Maryville, Illinois in 2099 by a man found to be insane, unfit for trial, and who had no connection to the pastor or the church.

  4. Brenda Cooper

    I can almost bet you that he killed the so-call Pastor because of one of 3 reasons: he was cheating with his wife, a child molester or he was taking money. I don't believe that a man would just take another person life for absolutely no reason at all, especially in a church. Those members in that church knows exactly what lead to this shooting and probably gossip about it before this happen and now are remaining closed lip. Why be silent now? The man who shot and killed this Pastor was wronged in some way and now the family and the church needs to confess those sins. Not everyone who claims to be a child of God will enter the Kingdom of Heaven and not every one who claims to be a servant of God are working for the Almighty God. They may be working for a God but not the God Almighty.

  5. Brenda Cooper

    It is hard to speculate? It is not hard or difficult because these are both men and it almost definite that one of them was cheating with either the other man's wife or with one another, so how difficult is this to speculate? You are a man and another woman or man should be your first clue.

  6. Brenda Cooper

    It has just been confirmed that I was right and that this preacher was cheating or allegedly raped the man's wife that shot and killed him. Wow! I didn't have a clue!