Texas pastor killed, others injured in church shooting; suspect arrested
The 62-year-old pastor reportedly confronted Mytrez Deunte Woolen with a gun, but he was overpowered.
A pastor was killed and two parishioners were injured in a church shooting in East Texas on Sunday.
Authorities had been searching for 21-year-old Mytrez Deunte Woolen on Saturday, using dogs and drones, when the pastor of Starrville Methodist Church in Winona reportedly discovered him hiding in a church bathroom Sunday.
Pastor Mark Allen McWilliams, 62, reportedly confronted Woolen and drew a gun on him; however, he was overpowered and shot.
“As the pastor opened the bathroom door, he was confronted by the individual, who had been hiding in the church,” said Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith. “Apparently, he fled in the woods, and when everyone had left, he retreated into the church. He had one of those red bank bags that belonged to the pastor.”
“The pastor, who had a firearm himself, apparently drew his firearm on the individual and ordered him to stop,” Smith continued. “He came toward the front door, then lunged at the pastor and disarmed the pastor. He then used the pastor’s firearm … the pastor is deceased at this time.”
According to The Tyler Telegraph, McWilliams’ wife, Rosemary, was not injured by gunshots, but she was hurt in a fall. Another man, also armed, was shot as the suspect fled the scene.
Woolen was reportedly being sought in connection with a number of drive-by shootings.
He fled the scene in one of the victim’s vehicle’s, which police were able to locate and disable using OnStar technology. Woolen was discovered to have a gunshot injury to his hand, and it is unclear how he was shot. He was treated at a local hospital, then booked into the Smith County Jail with a bond of $3.5 million.
Woolen has been charged with capital murder, aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury and aggravated assault use or exhibit a deadly weapon.