Alabama shooting: Two dead after gunman opened fire at church

Police have yet to name the suspect or one of the victims, but a press conference is expected today (Image: WVTM 13)

A gunman opened fire at a church in suburban Alabama last night, killing two people and injuring a third.

The attack was carried out around 6.20pm during a small group meeting at St Stephen’s Episcopal Church in the Birmingham suburb of Vestavia Hills.

Investigators declined to identify the victims or the suspect, who police were able to arrest alive.

No further details on the attack were released, but a press conference is expected to be held later in the day.

A “boomers potluck” was listed on the church’s website for Thursday evenings between 5 and 7 p.m.

A flyer for the event read, “There will be no program (sic), just eat and have time for fellowship.”

Police did not give a possible motive for the attack but do not believe there is any further threat to the community.

Church in Birmingham, Alabama, shoots two dead

The attack took place in Vestavia Hills, a suburb of Birmingham


Police are still looking for a motive for the fatal shooting

It comes just over a month after one person was killed and five others injured when a man opened fire on Taiwanese parishioners at a church in Southern California.

It also comes exactly seven years to the day after an avowed white supremacist killed nine people during a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

In Vestavia Hills, Reverend Kelley Hudlow told WBRC that the shooting stunned the church and community at large.

“It is shocking. Saint Stephen’s is a community built on love, prayer and grace and they will come together,” she said.

“People of all faiths come together to pray and hope for healing.”

She said messages of support were pouring in from all parts of the US and the world, adding, “We need everyone out there. Pray, think, meditate and send love to this community as we will need everything.’

There were several high-profile shootings throughout May and June, beginning with a racist attack on May 14 that killed 10 black people at a convenience store in Buffalo, New York.

The following week, a gunman massacred 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Thousands of people demonstrated across the United States and on the National Mall in Washington DC on Saturday to renew their calls for stricter gun control measures.

Survivors of mass shootings and other gun violence incidents lobbied and testified on Capitol Hill earlier this month.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statement late Thursday lamenting the shocking and tragic loss of life at the church.

Although she said she was glad to hear the suspect was in custody, she wrote: “This should never happen — in a church, in a store, in town or anywhere.”

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Justin Scacco

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