A church member was shot dead yesterday and another is in custody after an altercation at a church in Pennsylvania.
Robert Braxton, 27, was shot in the chest and died during a confrontation described by Montgomery County district attorney Kevin Steele as "a disturbance that escalated into an altercation between two church members".
The incident took place at the Montgomeryville site of the Keystone Fellowship church.
Three shots were fired during the singing of a hymn, terrifying the congregation. Steele said the shooter, who was also injured in the altercation, has not yet been charged pending an investigation of the circumstances. He said the shooter had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, believed to be a semi-automatic handgun.
The church posted a statement on its Facebook page saying: "Our hearts are deeply grieved over the tragic event that occurred Sunday morning, April 24 at our Montgomeryville campus. As a church family, we are shocked and heartbroken over what took place, and our congregation is in prayer for everyone involved."
It is holding a prayer meeting tonight in response to the tragedy.
The post drew many expressions of sympathy and offers of prayer. Members present at the shooting described it as a "horrific experience".
Sheila Dawn Fox said: "It was a scary moment for us this morning, but another reminder of our mortality and the need to be a light and show love in this world!"
Kim Oczkowski said: "This was my first time to this church. What a day to choose to come visit!! Praying for the congregation."
"My family and I were there," said Marissa Frey. "A horrific experience. Prayers for all involved."