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2 dead, 1 injured after gunman opens fire at Alabama church

Two people were killed and another was injured when a “lone suspect” entered an Alabama church potluck dinner and opened fire Thursday evening.

The shooting took place at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Vestavia Hills, a city outside Birmingham, officials said at a press conference streamed by WVTM-TV.

Officials received a call of shots fired at the church just after 6:20 p.m. and first responders found three victims and placed a suspect in custody, police said.

The victims were not immediately identified by officials, who said the shooting survivor was being treated at a hospital.

It was unclear what led to the violent attack, which came weeks after high profile massacres at a New York supermarket and Texas elementary school.

Two people were killed in the shooting.
WVTM
Reports claim the shooting took place at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Vestavia Hills.
Reports claim the shooting took place at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Vestavia Hills.
WVTM
A scene of the street where police wait.
The suspect was in custody after shooting up the “small” event, according to police.
WVTM

“The suspect involved in this event is in custody and we know of no additional threats to either the community of Vestavia Hills or neighboring areas,” Vestavia Hill Police Capitan Shane Ware said.

A “Boomers Potluck” was underway at time, according to the church’s website. Religious leaders did not know how many people were in attendance, but Ware said it was a “small” gathering.

“Currently we are praying for healing and safety for all those that have been impacted and affected, and also knowing that this is a traumatic thing that happened to our community, not just our church,” Rev. Kelley Hudlow, an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Alabama, told the station.

“What we need is for this community to do what it’s really good at, which is coming together to take care of each other through prayers and thoughts and anything else.”

Police agencies from around region were on the scene along with FBI investigators and US Marshals Service, according to the affiliate.

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