On Thursday night, two people were killed and one was injured at a Birmingham suburb church.
Vestavia Hills Police Department announced via Facebook that a suspect had been taken into custody. AL.com reported the victim was alive and being treated for serious injuries.
According to police, the shooting took place on Thursday at 6:22 p.m. at a Potluck Dinner Event hosted by St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Vestavia Hills. John Burruss, the Rev. stated that the shooting occurred at the Boomers Potluck get-together.
According to police via AL.com, one suspect entered the small group and shot three people. One person was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting, while two others were taken to the UAB Hospital. There, one of the victims died from their injuries.
Burruss uploaded a video statement to Thursday’s church, Facebook Page. Burruss stated that he was currently on a church-related trip to Athens, Greece with others and that he hopes to return to Vestavia Hills in the near future.
“Our hearts are broken from the horrible tragedy this evening at Saint Stephen’s,” the reverend wrote. “More than anything, I ask your prayers for our community, especially those who are injured and the families of the deceased.
He stated, “These are the pillars of our community, and I find it difficult to understand how devastating this must be for the whole church and wider community. There is so much that can be done as we come together to grieve this loss”.
Police stated that several fire departments and police departments, such as the FBI, US Marshals Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, responded quickly to the shooting.
We didn’t receive an immediate response from Vestavia Hills Police.
Kay Ivey, the governor of Alabama, “I am happy to hear that the shooter has been taken into custody. ” “This should never happen — in a church, in a store, in the city, or anywhere. We continue to closely monitor the situation.”
“A lot of people are going to be hurting, not just people who have been physically injured, but this is a scary thing when it happens,” the Rev. Kelley Hudlow, missioner of clergy formation for the Diocese of Alabama, told WVTM. “What we need is for this community to do what it’s really good at, which is coming together to comfort each other.”
The suspect has been captured: Police said the suspect, is a 71-year-old man but declined to release his name.
Ware said the suspect previously attended services at the church, but investigators are still looking into possible motives.
“Any past interactions involving the suspect are currently still being investigated by numerous agencies,” Ware said, adding the suspect appeared to have acted alone.
The FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco are assisting in the investigation, Ware said.
Gun Violence Archive reports 268 mass shootings in America in 2022.