Alabama Shootout: A 71-year-old man kills three pensioners at a church dinner

A pensioner shot dead three guests at a church dinner in a wealthy Alabama suburb.

Police said the 71-year-old man, who had previously attended services at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, pulled out a gun during the event and killed three elderly participants, one of whom died. in his wife’s arms.

Another guest managed to detain him until police arrived and arrested him.

The shooting, in the affluent town of Vestavia Hills on the outskirts of Birmingham, has been described as “baffling” by the community known for its family-centered lifestyle.

Two of the victims were 84 and the third 75.

Image: Police barricade outside the area after the shooting at the church. Image: Associated Press

One of the victim’s families said the church was her favorite place and that she “welcomes everyone with love.” He had been attending dinner with his wife for six decades.

“We are all grateful that she was saved and that he died in her arms while she whispered words of consolation and love in her ears,” a statement said.

Local police captain Shane Ware said the person who intervened to stop the gunman was “a hero”, adding that the actions were “extremely critical to saving lives”.

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He said police were still investigating what motivated the suspect, who occasionally attended church services.

Robert Smith has been charged with manslaughter.

Vestavia Hills Mayor Ashley Curry said her “united, resilient and loving community” had been shaken by “this senseless act of violence.”

Image: Church members comfort each other. Image: Associated Press

The city is known for top-tier schools and a suburban lifestyle, where many businessmen, doctors and lawyers live.

The United States is still recovering from two recent mass shootings. A racist attack on a May 14 supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killed 10 blacks.

The following week, 19 children and two adults were killed in an attack on an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Image: Flowers, candles and images are left in front of crosses with the names of the victims after the Robb Elementary School shooting

Read more: More than 700 people shot dead in U.S. shooting since Texas school shooting

Last Saturday, thousands of people gathered in the United States, including the National Mall in Washington DC, to renew calls for stricter gun control measures.

Survivors of mass shootings and other incidents of armed violence pressured lawmakers and headed to Congress on Capitol Hill earlier this month.

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