We talk alot about being ready for anything, and several times through out the last ten years we have seen family violence spill over into the church arena. Sometimes angry spouses show up and cause a disturbance, and other times emotions run high and someone is assaulted or killed.
If there is violence outside of your building, do you have a plan to cover it? While church was letting out, this man was waiting for his wife outside. Usually there is a lot of activity after church for the security team including thing like offering security, pastoral protection, and children being released from Sunday School.
If you heard gunshots outside your building after the service, what is your response going to be? Shelter in place and secure the building while calling the police? Would you engage the threat outside the church building? These questions are meant to make you think about your role and how you might respond if you witnessed something like this happening.
Most likely this was over in less than 25 seconds. Glean what you can from the news report and think through your defensive options and priorities.
Here is the WLS-TV Report:
“A 39-year-old man fatally shot his wife, then killed himself Sunday afternoon outside a church in the city’s Austin neighborhood, police said.
The incident occurred at about 2 p.m. in the 5700-block of West Chicago Avenue across the street from Second Mt. Olive Baptist Church.
Witnesses said the woman’s husband was waiting for her in the parking lot with a gun. The wife was identified as Trinyce L. Sanders-Wilson, 36, of west suburban Broadview, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Morning services were just finishing up when the shooting occurred.
Witness Andrew Davis said he heard one shot, then saw the woman fall to the ground. The man then shot the woman two more times, Davis said.
Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
“God does not give us advanced warning about how he’s going to allow things to happen in our lives,” said Rev. Kenneth Giles, of Second Mt. Olive Baptist Church. “We have to trust him and the word of God that says we walk by faith and not by sight.”
Both the wife and husband were longtime members of the church, but the husband did not attend services on Sunday.
The church’s afternoon service was canceled because of the shooting.