The Utah church shooting victim is currently in critical condition, but doctors at McDay-Dee hospital expect James Evans to survive.
Evans was shot during a Father’s Day mass at the Saint James the Just Catholic Church in Ogden, Utah. Police say that his son-in-law Charles Richard Jennings Jr. walked into the church with his wife, Evans’ daughter, and shot the 65-year-old man in the head.
Police say that the bullet went through Evans’ ear and out his cheek but missed his brain. Evans’ wife, Tara, said that her husband “turned his head just at the right time.”
Dr. Barbara Kerwin said that Evans is expected to survive but will have a long road to recovery. Evans will need reconstructive surgery and rehab to learn how to speak again.
After the Utah church shooting, Jennings fled the scene and stole a pick-up truck at gunpoint. Boston.com reports that he was arrested after he ran out of gas. Jennings was booked on attempted aggravated criminal homicide and aggravated robbery. He was also charged with possession of a firearm by a restricted user.
Ogden Police Lt. Danielle Croyle said that Jennings and his wife, Cheryl, have had a history of domestic problems and that the family had recently become involved. Croyle did not hint at a motive but did say that Jennings may have been using drugs or alcohol prior to the shooting.
Reverend Erik Richsteig, who has known Evans for more than 10 years, said: ”Jim is one of the kindest people I have ever known. No one deserves this, but I can’t think of a person who would deserve it less this less than Jim.”
Richsteig canceled services on Sunday to allow police to investigate the incident but held mass again on Monday morning. Richsteig said that he didn’t want to “let evil win” and thought that it was important to resume services.