Two people were killed and a third wounded in a shooting at a church in a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, Thursday night, police said. A suspect, who hasn’t been named, is in custody.
The Vestavia Hills Police Department said it received a call of an active shooter at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church at approximately 6:22 p.m. local time.
On Thursday night, Vestavia Hills police Capt. Shane Ware told reporters three people were shot. Two died and a third was being treated at a hospital. There was no initial word on that person’s condition.
According to Ware, the suspect entered the church during a group meeting and opened fire. The church had posted on its website that it was holding a potluck dinner between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Ware didn’t provide a possible motive or any further details on the circumstances of the shooting, though he said police believe there’s no further threat to the community. There was no word on how the suspect was apprehended.
The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service were among several federal and local agencies taking part in the investigation.
Rev. Kelley Hudlow, of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, remarked to reporters that, “This this happens in other places. … You just don’t think it’s going to happen here in the Birmingham area. And so it is shocking. But the one thing that we know is that St Stephen’s as a church is a community that is built on love and prayers and grace, and they’re going to come together.”
“We’re connected to a network of churches across the world,” she added, “and so we’re getting messages from people from all over the United States and around the world praying for this community tonight.”
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey released a statement calling the shooting “shocking and tragic,” adding, “This should never happen — in a church, in a store, in the city or anywhere.”
The FBI, U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives were among several federal and local agencies taking part in the investigation.
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