Random Shooting Leaves Pastor’s Mother Dead

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AURORA, Colo. -- A Colorado congregation is shaken after a gunman fired shots outside the church and shot and killed the pastor's mother. Members of the church say they're confused as to why the man chose their church.

Church members say a man wrecked his car out front of Destiny Christian Center in Aurora and then started shooting. One man who encountered the shooter says he continues to ask why.

"Where did you come from, why did you target this place?," said church member Tarrell Martin.

Tarrell Martin says the man chased him as he came outside to see what was going on.

"When I fell on the ground, I tried to get up real quick, but he was already on top of me with a gun to my head and he started shooting again but no bullets came out," Martin said.

Martin says he was able to get away as the suspect tried to get the gun to work.

"He just started shooting at me as I was running in the church," Martin said.

Once the shooter got the gun to work again, bullets hit the church. Bullets took the life of one the church's most beloved members, 67-year-old Josephine Echols.

Echols son, De Lono Straham the pastor of the church says his mom was shot several times. Straham's cousin, an off-duty Denver Police Officer who attends the church was armed and shot and killed the suspect.

"He's devastated. and the one thing he said he said was, 'I always pray that I never have to use my revolver to take anyone's life,'" Echols said.
"He's the angel."

Martin's arm was badly bruised from his encounter with the suspect. The church congregation is dealing with emotional pain the shooter left behind. Everyone says they still want answers because they have no clue who the man was or why the shooting happened.

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