A man allegedly shot his girlfriend, their child, and a clergyman at a church in Alabama yesterday, and has been charged with three counts of attempted murder.
Authorities arrested 26-year-old James Junior Minter of Selma, Alabama after he allegedly opened fired during services at the Oasis Tabernacle Church in East Selma, Alabama. According to Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson, the incident was the result of a domestic situation.
A statement from the Selma Police Department revealed that, according to witnesses, Minter entered the church, and sat in the front row in between his girlfriend and their baby. He then pulled out a handgun, and began shooting. His girlfriend fell to the ground, and Minter fired at her, shooting her in the jaw, and shoulder. The one-month-old baby was shot in the hand.
Police said that members of the congregation tried to subdue Minter, and managed to get his gun away after he shot the pastor in the leg when the clergyman grabbed him.
“The pastor was trying to wrestle the gun from him — the pastor was being a good Samaritan,” said Jackson, the New York Times reported. “But he got shot.”
The victims are all in stable condition.
Minter fled the scene following the incident, but police were able to capture him less than a mile away. He is now being held without bond at the Dallas County jail. The Selma Police Department said that he may face additional charges.
The police statement also said that his motive may have possible been a disagreement over child visitation, and ongoing domestic violence between the two.
Tragically, this was not a freak accident. Extreme domestic violence is a far greater problem in the U.S. than you might think. The Centers for Disease Control indicate that one in four women, and one in seven men, over the age of 18 will experience physical violence at least once in their lifetime. Worse, three women are murdered every day by a current or former male partner in the United States.