A pastor was shot and killed in the pulpit during a Sunday church service, police have said.
The Rev. William Schooler were gunned down in front of more than 20 parishioners at St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church in Dayton, Ohio.
Witnesses said the shooter was sitting in a pew and opened fire as the pastor stepped into the pulpit.
A man who witnesses identified as the pastor’s brother was taken into custody, reports theWHIO.
“I just got everybody out of the church and we just kept hearing shooting and shooting,” said Alberta Blayth of Dayton.
The church member said she saw the accused shooter, the pastor’s 68-year-old brother Daniel Schooler.
The congregation fled the scene at around 12.30pm local time (5.30pm UK time).
A Schooler family member said Daniel Schooler struggled with mental illness.
“Bipolar, schizophrenic. He had a lot of things going on he was dealing with,” said Joyce Napier, niece of the pastor and suspect.
“I don’t think he woke up this morning and said ‘I want to kill my brother’. I just think the mental state and illness goes together and that’s what evil does.”
According to the Dayton Daily News, Schooler was a Vietnam veteran who was principal of a local school for around 20 years.
He then served on the Board of Education and president of the local Baptist Ministers Union.