WINONA, Texas — Smith County officials have released the arrest affidavit following the Sunday morning fatal shooting of Pastor Mark McWilliams at Starrville Methodist Church in Winona.
According to the affidavit, around 9:22 a.m. on Sunday, Smith County deputies were called to the scene of the church, located at 17339 Farm-to-Market Road 16.
Officials say Rosemary McWiliams, the pastor's wife, said she and her husband had found someone in their church and her husband had been shot. During the 911 call, dispatchers reported gunshots and screaming could be heard in the background. She stated the suspected shooter, identified later as Mytrez Deunte Woolen, 21, was wearing jeans and a gray sweater, and stole a pickup truck to escape the area.
When deputies arrived on scene, they found William Sellars sitting outside the church with what appeared to be gunshot wounds, according to the affidavit. Sellars told officials when he arrived at the church, he heard gunshots coming from inside. He said he then saw Woolen coming toward the front door and Woolen began shooting toward him. Sellars said he tried to run for cover, but was shot before the suspect drove off.
Another witness who was at the scene during the shooting said Pastor McWilliams opened a bathroom door and put up his hands. The pastor then told the suspect, who was holding the church's money bag, to leave the church. The witness said the pastor continued to tell the suspect to leave and took out his handgun. According to the affidavit, it was at this time Woolen rushed toward Pastor McWilliams and the two began fighting on the ground. Woolen was able to take the gun from the pastor and shot several times in the chest, the affidavit states. He then reportedly began shooting at the pastor's wife who was hiding by the stove. The witness said Woolen approached him demanding his truck keys and ran out of the church.
Once law enforcement obtained the witness's vehicle information, ONSTAR was able to track the vehicle which was headed east on Interstate 20 toward Marshal, according to the affidavit. The affidavit says the Harrison County Sheriff's Office was able to catch up with Woolen who refused to stop. ONSTAR then disabled the vehicle and a traffic stop was conducted. The affidavit states Woolen was then taken into custody without incident. The church's money bag was also found in the vehicle.
Pastor McWilliams died from his injuries, while Sellars was sustained non-life threatening injuries that required surgery. Rosemary was injured in a fall.
Woolen was booked into the Smith County Jail on $3,500,000 bond.