Heartbreaking picture shows priest running away after gunman killed two and hurt another at church potluck dinner | The Sun

A HEARTBREAKING photo shows a priest running away from the scene after a gunman killed two people and injured others at a church.

On Thursday, police were called to the Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church in Birmingham, Alabama, after gunfire erupted at a potluck dinner.

The gunman has been identified as a 71-year-old white man who occasionally attended church services. He is in custody, but no motive for the shooting has been released.

WBRC reporter Morgan Hightower reported that Walter Rainy, an 84-year-old white man, died at the scene, while Sarah Yager, a 75-year-oldwhite female, died at the hospital.

One person, who hasn't been publicly identified,was wounded during the shooting and was taken to Birmingham's UAB hospital for treatment.

The gunman, who came into the church at 6:22 p.m., interrupted a church event.


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People were enjoying a "Boomer's" potluck when the gunfire started.

Rev. Kelley Hudlow, a priest at the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, told reporters that the ordeal was scary.

"This this happens in other places. You just don't think it's going to happen here in the Birmingham area. And so it is shocking," Hudlow said.

Hudlow also urged the community to come together through thoughts, prayers, and anything else.

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"We're connected to a network of churches across the world," she added, "and so we're getting messages from people from all over the United States and around the world praying for this community tonight," Hudlow told CBS News.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey denounced the shooting in a statement, calling it "shocking and tragic" while also saying that this shouldn't happen anywhere.

On Thursday evening, a group held a prayer circle in the church's parking lot.

"You are seeing healing, with those folks standing together," WBRC anchor Jonathan Hardison said.

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The FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives are assisting local agencies in the investigation.

CNN reported that a vigil had been planned for Friday morning at a nearby church.

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