Police say a pastor along with members of his congregation wrestled a gun away from a man who opened fired in an Alabama church. According to Selma police Lt. Curtis Muhannad, 26 year old James Junior Minter is being held without bond in the shooting of his girlfriend, his infant son and the church pastor, Earl Carswell, who tried to intervene Sunday morning.
Minter was arrested shortly after he opened fire during a church service at Oasis Tabernacle Church in East Selma, Alabama. A statement released by the Selma Police Department says witness’s claim Minter entered the church and sat in the front row between his girlfriend and the baby.
The statement said Minter then pulled out a handgun and started shooting. The 24 year old girlfriend fell to the ground and Minter fired at her, striking her in the jaw and shoulder. The 1-month-old boy was also shot in the hand.
61 year old Carswell then grabbed Minter and was shot in the leg as well. According to police members of the congregation helped subdue Minter and managed to wrestle away his gun and Minter then ran out of the church.
Pastor Carswell was taken to a local emergency room for treatment, while the woman and baby were taken to a hospital in Birmingham. The victims are all in stable condition.
Minter was captured by police less than a mile away after fleeing the scene. The statement said his vehicle was left at the scene and a gun was recovered at the church.
According to police, Minter was likely upset over a recent breakup and visitation issues with his son. Minter was being held at the Dallas County jail. The Selma Police Department said Minter has been charged with three counts of attempted murder and may face other charges as well.
Muhannad said Minter had been arrested before however specifics on the nature of his past encounters with police weren’t immediately available. Authorities are also investigating whether Minter violated a protective order.
Muhannad also had this to say about the incident “We’ve reached the point where all churches are gonna have to have cameras and check for weapons. That’s the way society is going now. It’s the world we live in now.”
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