Right during the middle of the service yesterday, 52 year old Gregory Eldred shot and killed his ex-wife, Darlene Stitler, the church organist and choir director, as she was sitting in her pew.
This all happened at First United Presbyterian Church in Coudersport, PA.
Witnesses told police they saw Eldred pacing outside the 180-year-old church before the service and that other members of the congregation grabbed Eldred after the shooting around 11:20 a.m., and held him until police arrived. Nobody else was injured.
The defense attorney listed in online court records did not immediately return a call for comment Monday.
Trooper Michael Knight told the Bradford Era newspaper on Sunday that Eldred allegedly walked down the church’s middle aisle and fired two shots at Sitler.
Trooper Knight told the newspaper there were no children in the church when the shooting happened, but that police bused all those who witnessed the shooting to a building which houses Potter County offices so they could be interviewed by police.
Potter County Commissioner Susan Kefover told the newspaper the shooting was “devastatingly tragic for the community.”
Does your church have a plan for tragedy?
You really need one.
Here are a couple of great videos that will help get you engaged and encouraged to be ready for when tragedy strikes:
and this one:
Does YOUR church have a plan for when tragedy may strike your church or community?
Save hours of your valuable time and keep up on the things you need to know! Download Ministry Briefing, June 2013
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