Two people died and another was injured after a shooting at a church just south of Birmingham, Alabama, Thursday evening, according to authorities.
Police said they were called to reports of an active shooter at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Vestavia Hills at 6:22 p.m., and multiple police and fire departments responded, AL.com reported. Initially, authorities said that three people were shot, one person fatally. A second person later died after being transported to a hospital. The suspected shooter was reportedly taken into custody.
“It is shocking that it happened here but we are going to love each other and take care of each other and find our way forward,” said Kelley Hudlow, who works in the bishop’s office. “We are praying for the people who have been hurt, the doctors and nurses that are helping them and we are also praying for this community that is going to be shocked and hurt by this.”
According to the church’s website, a “Boomers Potluck” event was being held in the church’s Parish Hall at the time of the shooting.
At a press briefing following the shooting and before a second person had been reported dead, Vestavia Hills Police Department Captain Shane Ware said two of the three victims were being treated at a hospital. He also reiterated that the suspect was in custody. “We know of no additional threat to either the community of Vestavia Hills or our neighboring community of Mountain Brook,” Ware said.
Governor Kay Ivey (R-AL) released a statement after the deadly shooting, saying “this should never happen.”
“As we are learning about the shocking and tragic loss of a life at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Vestavia, we want to offer our prayers for the victim’s family, the injured and the entire church community,” Ivey said. “I am glad to hear the shooter is in custody. This should never happen — in a church, in a store, in the city or anywhere. We continue to closely monitor the situation.”
This is a developing story; refresh the page for updates.