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Pastor Shot Dead During Service

An Illinois pastor was gunned down in during a church service early Sunday morning, according to CNN.

Fred Winters, pastor at First Baptist Church of Mayryville, a St. Louis suburb, was shot and killed during his 8 a.m. service. His attacker and two parishioners suffered knife wounds in the attack, Illinois police spokesman Ralph Timmins told CNN.

The gunman walked in during the service and approached the pulpit, firing when he was met by Winters, Timmins said. A police dispatcher told CNN that the pastor was shot three times.

According to Timmins, the gunman used a .45-caliber pistol that jammed after he shot Winters. The attacker then pulled out a knife and turned it on himself before he was tackled by some of the worshippers in the church. Two of the people who went after the attacker suffered non-life-threatening knife injuries while the attacker’s condition is considered very serious.

The Associated Press reports that Winters used his bible to deflect the first of four shots fired at him, and that only one of the four shots fired at the pastor struck him.

A St. Louis University Hospital spokeswoman, Lauren Keller, told CNN that three males, including the suspect, were brought to the hospital. One was dead on arrival, but the hospital was not releasing names and ages. She also said that a second man was in an operating room, and the third was the suspect, whose condition was not available.

The Associated Press reports that no one at the church recognized the shooter.