62-year-old Pastor Mark McWilliams was killed in his church after confronting the shooter. Authorities say McWilliams pulled his firearm and attempted to apprehend 21-year-old Mytrez Woolen, who was hiding in the church bathroom, but Woolen wrestled the gun away from McWilliams and shot him with it before fleeing. Woolen was later arrested after stealing McWilliams’ pickup truck.
Woolen, a suspect in two drive-by shootings in another town, had lost the police after a high-speed chase that ended when he crashed into Starrville Methodist Church in Winona, Texas and fled into the nearby woods. Pastor McWilliams found Woolen hiding in the restroom and attempted to apprehend him with his gun. But McWilliams was distracted while talking to his wife and Woolen disarmed and shot McWilliams before fleeing the church, wounding another churchgoer as he ran. He stole McWilliams’ pickup but was not aware that it was equipped with an emergency tracker that led authorities straight to him in a neighboring county.
“Our hearts are with the victims and the families of those killed or injured in this terrible tragedy. I am grateful for the law enforcement officers who apprehended the suspect,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott in a statement.