Man guns down pastor inside Louisiana church

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Woodrow Karey, 53 has been charged in connection with the shooting death of Pastor Ronald J. Harris Sr. in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

LAKE CHARLES, La. (CNN) — Talisha Harris had seen Woodrow Karey at the Louisiana church where her father preached, but not for about four years.

Until Friday night.

Harris told CNN affiliate KPLC-TV that Karey entered the Tabernacle of Praise Worship Center in Lake Charles as she was leading the 65 people in the sanctuary in the singing of a song.

Her father, pastor Ronald Harris, had just joined her.

Karey fired his shotgun almost immediately, hitting a plant, Talisha Harris said. The second shotgun blast struck Ronald Harris in the back.

Then Karey approached the fallen pastor, fired once more and “stood there to watch him take his last breath.”

The gunman ran, leaving a church in chaos.

“People were screaming. They were under the pews,” Talisha Harris said.

Two other clergymen “immediately started praying,” and other people applied pressure to the pastor’s wounds.

But Ronald Harris died.

A short time later, the 53-year-old Karey called 911 and said he wanted to surrender. He was charged with second-degree murder and jailed under a $1 million bond.

Authorities said Karey had no known criminal history.

“It appears as though this investigation involves issues that occurred at the church,” Calcasieu Parish Chief Deputy Stitch Guillory said on CNN’s “New Day Sunday.”

Talisha Harris said the church had helped Karey. She cannot imagine his motive.

“That’s the only question I would really want to ask him,” she said. “Just why?”

She said her father “had a big heart. He loved everybody, wanted to always help.”

Talisha Harris said she and her mother, who also witnessed the shooting, will remain church members.

She said she will rely on the faith she learned from her parents.

“They always stood on the word of God. They never wavered, they never doubted God. It was like they had strong faith that everything is going to be okay,” she said.

“Everything he taught us — he’s going to be proud of us one day,” she said. “We’re going to make it.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s