The Chicago Tribune reports – The congregation was in the middle of singing a pre-sermon hymn. It looked as though it would be a bright morning of prayer and worship. But what was expected to be a bright morning quickly descended into a dark and tragic day. According to the Chicago Tribune, two men were killed unexpectedly on the steps of Chicago's South Austin’s Friendship Baptist Church by two masked shooters.
A 34-year-old usher was walking up the steps of his church with his three young children. But in the blink of an eye his life would be cut short, and his three young children would lose their father. He was killed by two gunmen after they ran toward the wooden doors of the church, located at the top of the steps, and began shooting.
Next to the usher was a 46-year-old man who was visiting the church. The man attempted to hide behind a nearby retaining wall as the usher and his children tried to take cover inside the church. But he was not as lucky as the children, and like the usher he was unable to avoid the path of the shooter's bullets. After being shot he was quickly transported to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead.
Church member Bruno Carter described the shooters as both wearing bandanas across their faces and with dreadlocks. He claimed that the two men ran from the gas station across the street, past the bell tower, and took aim at their victims.
The two gunmen fled in a silver or gray SUV headed south. They haven't yet been caught.
“They were on their way up the steps to the church, and the two gentleman ran up from Jackson (Boulevard) and basically unloaded on them,” said the pastor. “It’s just hard for me to believe that something like this could happen on a Sunday morning. The two young men on their way to church… I think that’s the hardest part for me to grasp.”
“The pastor was just about to get up and we heard about seven shots – bang-bang-bang-bang,” said a church member. “Everyone hit the floor, even the kids. It’s a shame the kids know how to hit the floor like that, but it’s a good thing they did.”
Located in a troubled area, South Austin’s Friendship Baptist Church dedicates a substantial amount of resources to helping those in their community. There will be a vigil at the church on Monday.
In related news, 17 were recently killed after terrorists openly attacked a restaurant.