Slain Pastor Blocked 1st Shot With a Bible

As confetti flew, Illinois parishioners thought it was a skit
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2009 7:55 AM CDT
Slain Pastor Blocked 1st Shot With a Bible
Law enforcement and other personnel stand at the main entrance to the First Baptist Church Sunday, March 8, 2009, in Maryville, Ill.    (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

What drove the shooting death of a pastor at an Illinois Baptist church service yesterday remains a mystery, as more details emerge, the Chicago Tribune reports. After exchanging words with the gunman who walked toward him, the pastor blocked the first of four rounds of bullets with a Bible, sending shreds of paper into the air. “When he shot, what you saw was confetti,” said one of about 1200 in the congregation. “We thought it was part of a drama skit.”

After a struggle, the gunman and a parishioner were in serious condition at a local hospital. There was no immediate evidence the suspect had a criminal background, police said. Police identified the man as a 27-year-old and released his address but not his name; local news linked the address to a man of the same age reported to be battling Lyme disease and previously diagnosed as mentally ill.
(More crime stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.