Conflict & Tragedy
Shooting at Georgia megachurch: Suspect captured
The U.S. Marshall's Office said that shooting suspect, Floyd Palmer, 52, has been apprehended. Palmer was taken into custody at Lenox Square located in Buckhead; an uptown district of Atlanta, about 25 miles from World Changers International Church. Officials said Palmer was arrested shortly before 4 p.m., local time.
Authorities have also identified the victim as 39-year-old Greg McDowell. McDowell was a prayer leader and volunteer at the church.
Investigators are still not sure if McDowell was the shooter's target or a target of opportunity. The motive is also still unclear.
“He was a very good person. They stayed to themselves, but were very nice. The nicest people you could ever meet,” said Marlene Guice, who is a neighbor of the McDowell family.
McDowell is survived by his wife, Rosetta, and two small children.
UPDATE: 1:02 p.m. ET
The victim of the shooting has been identified as a 39-year-old man who was a volunteer and member at the church. Authorities are not releasing the victim's name until family members can be notified.
The alleged gunman, who has now been identified as 52-year-old Floyd Palmer, had recently resigned from his position in facility maintenence for personal reasons, according to Fulton County Police spokesperson, Det. Kay Lester. Lester said that several law enforcement agencies are actively engaged in the manhunt for Palmer and he should be consider armed and dangerous. There were 20 to 25 people in the chapel when the shooting took place. Neither Creflo Dollar nor his wife, Taffi, were at the church at the time of the incident, said Lester.
Police are gathering church surveillance footage and witnesses are being interviewed. It is unknown at this time for certain whether or not the suspect knew the victim personally. The church has more than 25,000 members.
Church officials say that evening sevices have been cancelled because the church has now become a crime scene.
At this time, Palmer's whereabouts are still unknown.
UPDATE: 12:24 ET
The suspect in the shooting has been identified as 52-year-old Floyd Palmer, who is a former employee of the church. Police say Palmer is driving a black Subaru. The name of the victim has not been released.
The Fulton County Police Dept. has confirmed that a shooting has taken place inside World Changers International Church in College Park, Ga. The Reverend Creflo Dollar is the founder and senior pastor of the church.
Police say two nearby schools were placed on lockdown for about an hour and the suspect is still at large.
Fulton County Police said that one person has been shot and is believed to be in critical condition. However, station WXIA is reporting that the victim has died.
According to WXIA, at around 10 a.m., local time, a gunman walked into the chapel and fired a shot at point-blank range into a man who was leading the prayer at a morning bible study. The suspect then fled the scene.
The report said that the victim is a 48-year-old church employee.
The alleged gunman is described only as a black male in his 30's, wearing a suit and tie.
This is a developing story. More details will be provided as information becomes available.