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Pastor killed, two others injured in church shooting

A pastor was killed and two others were injured in a shooting at a Texas church on Sunday, Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement.

The shooting occurred Sunday morning at Starrville Methodist Church in Starrville, about 100 miles east of Dallas. The suspect, who is in custody, was allegedly fleeing from police after an incident Saturday night and had snuck into the church to hide, Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith said.

A pastor at Starrville Methodist Church found the man hiding in a bathroom around 9:21 a.m. when he, his wife and several others entered the church Sunday morning. The suspect fled but returned to the church amid an early morning manhunt by authorities.

“He starts coming toward the front door, then he turns around and lunges at the pastor and was able to disarm the pastor, it appears at this time,” Smith said. “He used … the pastor’s firearm is the one he used. The pastor is deceased at this time.”

Another person was being treated for a gunshot wound and their condition was unknown, Smith said. Someone was also being treated related to a fall during the incident.

The suspect was found after he allegedly stole the pastor’s vehicle to flee the scene and was apprehended in Harrison County, Smith said.

Abbott sent his condolences to the victims and their families Sunday in his statement, which did not identify the pastor or the suspect.

“The State of Texas is working closely with first responders and local officials to ensure that justice is served and that the Starrville community has the resources it needs during this time,” Abbott said.