Tx. Pastor Is Killed After Confronting a Man in Church Bathroom Who Was Allegedly Fleeing Cops

The pastor of a Texas church was killed by a man who was allegedly hiding from police in the church overnight.

On Sunday morning, 62-year-old Mark Allen McWilliams was fatally shot after he discovered 21-year-old Mytrez Deunte Woolen hiding from authorities in the bathroom of Starrville Methodist Church, Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith said at a press conference.

Authorities had been searching for Woolen since the night before, when he allegedly brandished a shotgun through the sunroof of a car. For hours, authorities searched for Woolen with canines and drones, but they could not locate him.

“After several hours, the search area was expanded as it was felt that the suspect had escaped the perimeter,” Smith said. However, Woolen had actually found refuge in the church's bathroom and spent the night there before being discovered by McWilliams the next morning.

"Apparently, [Woolen] fled in the woods and when everyone had left he retreated into the church," Smith said.

Smith said McWilliams drew his gun on Woolen and ordered him to get on the ground. However, McWilliams became distracted for a moment and Woolen was able to lunge at the pastor, disarm him and kill him.

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Woolen then allegedly stole the pastor's vehicle and fled the scene. He was located in Harrison County and eventually taken into custody. He now faces two felony assault charges and one capital murder charge.

Two other people, including McWilliams's wife, were injured in the incident and taken to the hospital.

"Someone broke our family up," Carla Manuel told EverythingLubbock.com. “It’s not fair…We are all heartbroken. This has been devastating to us."

The shooting did not take place during church service. Only a few other people were in the church when the fatal incident occurred.

"Our hearts are with the victims and the families of those killed or injured in this terrible tragedy," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement, NBC DFW reports."I am grateful for the law enforcement officers who apprehended the suspect, and I ask Texans to join Cecilia and me in praying for those affected by this horrific shooting."

It's unclear whether Woolen has an attorney to comment on his behalf. He is being held at Smith County Jail on a $3.5 million bail.

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