A peaceful Mississippi church sanctuary turned chaotic on Sunday morning after police fatally shot the son of the deacon, the Associated Press reports. The police were called to break up a fight that began when members argued over the firing of the pastor.
Cacedrick White, 26, arrived with a shotgun and fired it once in the parking lot while police were at the church in Lexington, Mississippi, Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain said. A Lexington police officer fired back three times, wounding White. He died at a hospital.
Strain said no one else was injured or arrested.
Police were called to the Asia Missionary Baptist Church after congregants began yelling at each other, Strain said. Deacons tried to fire the pastor, but the pastor was trying to get the entire congregation to take a vote on whether to retain him.
“What happened was a bunch of the pastor’s family showed up and there was a whole bunch of yelling and hollering,” Strain said.
Lexington Police Chief Martin Roby said congregants had agreed to settle things among themselves. The two police officers who were on duty in the town of 1,700 people — plus a Holmes County sheriff’s deputy who was called as backup — were actually leaving when they encountered White at the back door, Roby said.
Read more at the Associated Press.