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Ill. state police: 1 killed in church shooting
Updated: 2009-03-09 08:54

MARYVILLE — A gunman walked down the aisle of a church during a Sunday service and killed the pastor, then stabbed himself and slashed two other people as parishioners wrestled him to the ground, authorities said.

People stand outside of First Baptist Church in Maryville, Ill., March 8, 2009 after a man killed a pastor and injured others at the church. [Agencies]

The man walked into the sprawling brick First Baptist Church in Maryville shortly after 8 a.m. and briefly spoke with The Rev. Fred Winters before pulling out a .45-caliber handgun and shooting Winters once in the chest, said Illinois State Police Master Trooper Ralph Timmins.

The gun jammed before the man could fire again, Timmins said. The attacker then pulled out a knife and injured himself before churchgoers subdued him. Two parishioners involved in the struggle also suffered knife wounds, Timmins said.

Timmins said officials don't know if Winters and the suspect knew each other and did not know the suspect's name.

"We don't know the relationship (between the gunman and pastor), why he's here or what the circumstances came about that caused him in the first place to be here," Timmins said.

Winters was pronounced dead at Anderson Hospital, said spokeswoman Natalie Head. Two people who were injured at the church were flown to another hospital, Head said.

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