The police in Alabama’s Birmingham have revealed that the man who killed three people at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Vestavia Hills was an occasional church attendee. Though the police have yet to reveal his identity, they have taken custody of the 74-year-old white man. Police Capt. Shane Ware said that prosecutors were busy preparing warrants to charge him with capital murder.
The Vestavia Hills Police Department said in a statement, “Our investigation, while ongoing, has revealed that an occasional attendee of the church that I will only identify as a white male aged 71 was at the dinner. At some point he produced a concealed handgun and began shooting striking the three victims.
“The victims are identified as: 1. Walter Rainey, white male age 84 from Irondale, AL. Deceased on scene 2. Sarah Yeager, white female age 75 from Pelham, AL. Died at UAB Hospital 3. A white female age 84 from Hoover, AL that is currently at a local hospital.”
The white female who was receiving treatment at the hospital has since succumbed to her injuries.
Confirming the news of the 84-year-old victim, the police said, “It is with great sadness that the Vestavia Hills Police Department reports the passing of the third shooting victim from Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church. An 84-year-old white female was transported, from the scene, to UAB hospital for treatment on the evening of June 16, 2022. The family of the victim asks that we do not release her name for reasons of privacy. Our thoughts and prayers continuously go out to the victims, their families and all who are affected by this tragic event.”
Motive behind the carnage
The police said that the suspect shot his victims when the church was hosting a ‘small group meeting, referred to as a Boomers Pot Luck dinner.’ One attendee at the event subdued the suspect and held him down until the law enforcement personnel arrived.
The suspect reportedly acted alone and there was no threat to the community. The investigating agencies are trying to ascertain the motive behind the carnage.
America has seen an alarming rise in mass shooting incidents in the recent weeks, triggering a debate over the gun culture in the country.