Pastor Mark McWilliams, a pastor in the Starrville Methodist Church was armed when he confronted the suspect inside the church, who was able to disarm him of his weapon, ultimately costing him his life. This happened at night, during the manhunt for the shooter, Mytrez Deunte Woolen.
Woolen suffered a gunshot wound to the hand, but was taken into custody. He is facing charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and capital murder. Police say that they have already been keeping tabs on the suspect, as he is known to be affiliated with a previous drive-by shooting.
The incident happened due to a call received in Lindale, Texas’ police about the suspect. Later on, Smith County Sherrif’s deputies caught wind of the suspect’s vehicle and began pursuit at around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. This resulted in the suspect being able to narrowly escape by driving into a front yard and running away.
The suspect was said to have disappeared into the woods, then causing a several hours-long manhunt to ensue. Authorities believe that he entered the church and remained there until his confrontation with the pastor on Sunday.
Authorities also insist that the church was the only building the suspect had access to at the time, not owing it to political or religious beliefs. The investigation is still ongoing.