A pastor was shot and killed in the middle a Sunday service at his church in Dayton, Ohio.
According to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, Rev. William B. Schooler, 70, was murdered in cold blood by his own brother at St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church in the early afternoon hours.
Witnesses initially reported that the shooting happened in the middle of the service. They said the choir was singing, and the pastor had just stepped behind the pulpit. Suddenly, the shooter, who had been sitting in a pew, stood up, followed him behind the pulpit, and opened fire.
However, police officials later said that the pastor was in his office when the shooting occurred, not at the pulpit.
Regardless of the exact location within the church, the scene reportedly became chaos when the shots rang out. At least 20 people were in attendance, and when the congregants heard the gunfire everyone started running in search of safety.
Rev. Schooler was a former member of the Dayton Public Schools Board of Education and was also president of the Dayton Baptist Pastors and Ministers Union of Greater Dayton, Inc. Friend and fellow community leader Ronnie Moreland said he was well known and loved by the community.
He had deep roots in the community. He was a beloved leader. It’s hard to put into words what has happened.
Daniel Gregory Schooler, the victim’s younger brother is believed to be the shooter and was arrested at the scene. He is currently being held at the Montgomery County Jail and formal murder charges will be filed on Monday.
According to friends and family, Daniel Schooler had a long history of mental illness, but no one had any idea what his motive was for shooting his older brother.
This is not his first run in with the law. In 2001 he was charged with felonious assault with a firearm specification and carrying a concealed weapon. Court records also indicated that he “may be mentally ill and in need of treatment.” He was sentenced to five years of probation.
In 2002 he was again convicted of felonious assault with a deadly weapon, this time for attacking a mother and her 4-year-old child while they were visiting his home. He spent two years in prison as a result of this conviction.
In 2007 he attacked a friend with a golf club and in 2008 he allegedly assaulted someone with a hammer and knife.
Police say they believe the shooting was a “domestic incident” and that Rev. Schooler was the only intended target.
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