KANSAS CITY, Mo. — What is typically a place of love, joy, and worship became scene of terror as gunfire rang out during a Kansas City church service, hitting one person in the head on Sunday.
Police confirmed that a man entered the House of Refuge Family Worship Center near Hillcrest and E. 109th Street Sunday morning and fired shots, striking a church greeter in the head, who then fell through a window in the sanctuary. Police said person was rushed to a hospital and is expected to survive.
Police said the gunman, described as a black male, entered the church through a back door and then opened fire during a service.
Pastor D’Eric Fields addressed the incident Sunday afternoon on Facebook Live.
“At the end of the day, no matter what is going on, there will be those of us who remain steadfast, unmovable, always abiding in the work of the Lord, knowing that our labor is not in vain. Let me tell you all something this morning, I was ready to risk it all for God and I thank God that we are in a place at House of Refuge where we are safe and can continue to do it,” Fields said.
“Continue to pray for House of Refuge. I don’t need you all to talk about it or wonder what’s going on. We are safe; everybody that is at House of Refuge, we are safe. We are stronger than ever. God is bringing us closer to God because of this.”
Fields addresses the incident specifically around the 4-minute mark.
“There was a shooting in our church this morning, a young man came into our church and there was a shooting that happened,” Field said in the video. “We thank God, number one, that even though the shooting did take place, we took every precaution, we took everything that we possibly could to make sure that everybody in our church was protected.”
“Do not believe the rumors that people were shot at, or that, you know, our members were in any kind of danger. Our leaders and the people that stand by my side, we took every precaution this morning, to make sure that our members, our young people, our children, our daycare, our nursery was protected in every way, shape, and form. Even though it was a very scary, and very traumatizing event for many people, this event was taken care of, and was handled in the most amazing way possible,” Fields added.
Fields said the injured victim was “grazed across his head” in the shooting while he was “protecting the people in our church.” He said the greeter is well and has been released from the hospital.
The House of Refuge Family Worship Center released a statement to FOX 4.
Greetings House of Refuge Family and Supporters,
At this point, you may be aware of the situation that happened at our church today. We gladly acknowledge our pastoral staff and our church’s first responders for acting quickly and responsibly.
We are extremely grateful that neither our Pastor D’Eric Fields nor church members sustained any life-threatening injuries. We will continue to work diligently together and with authorities to further ensure the safety of our church family and friends.
Your continued thoughts and prayers are appreciated.
House of Refuge Church Administrator
Police said the gunman is not in custody at this time. The investigation is ongoing.
Check back for the latest updates.