2 dead after church crash; attack - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

2 dead after church crash; attack

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) (credit: KTVT/KTXA)
(credit: KTVT/KTXA) (credit: KTVT/KTXA)

FOREST HILL (CBSDFW.COM) – There is still a lot of confusion at a North Texas church where a pastor and unknown assailant are both dead. It is a very emotional scene at the Greater Sweethome Missionary Baptist Church where police say Pastor Danny Kirk Sr. has been killed.

A 911 call was placed just after 11 a.m. The person reported a possible burglary and assault going on at the church. KRLD NewsRadio 1080s Chuck Schechner asked Forest Hill police Chief Dan Dennis pointedly if he knew what happened, the chief responded, "Honestly, not really. We have some idea but our detectives and the Texas Rangers are still working the scene and trying to figure out exactly what happened."

According to Chief Dennis, Pastor Kirk was inside the church at the time of the incident. What exactly transpired isn't clear, but a silver-colored, 4-door, full-size vehicle did crash into the church. When officers arrived they said they found the driver of that car beating Pastor Kirk with some type of object.

"Officers caught him [suspect] engaged, actively in the assault. They deployed a Taser to stop the assault," Chief Dennis explained. "We got him [suspect] in custody. We put him in the back of a squad car. While other parties were being treated medically, we came to check on him and treat him and he had stopped breathing. We had him transported to John Peter Smith Hospital where he was pronounced dead."

A janitor, who was inside the church with the pastor, was injured somehow and taken to a local hospital for observation. 

News about the incident soon spread and more than 100 people gathered in front of the building, many of them grief stricken church members who were openly crying. The incident was so traumatic that two of those in the crowd had to be taken to the hospital, after they passed out apparently overcome with grief.

Remaining bystanders and church members held an impromptu prayer vigil outside. The group gathered, held hands and prayed for their church family.

Pastor Danny Kirk Sr. founded the Greater Sweethome Missionary Baptist Church in 1995. Of her pastor church member Akinchia Scott said, "He was a good man. He's a helpful man. He would help anybody on the street if they really needed it.  So for them to do something like that? It's really sad."

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