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Parishioners then tackled the man, 57-year-old Jeremiah Fogle, took his .32 caliber revolver, and held him until authorities arrived.
Witnesses said Fogle entered through the front door of the Greater Faith Christian Center Church in Lakeland, Florida, walked down the center aisle and shot the men, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
It appears Fogle, wearing dress pants and a dress shirt, walked to the church from his home a block away, where detectives found Theresa Brown Fogle, 56, dead in the couple’s living room, the sheriff’s office said.
Fogle and his wife were married in 2002 and once attended the church as members, although neither had attended services there in several years, authorities said.
Authorities said Fogle shot Pastor William Boss in the back of the head as the pastor was kneeling in prayer. He then shot Associate Pastor Carl Stewart in the head, shoulder and back before parishioners restrained him, the sheriff’s office said.
The pastor and associate pastor were in critical but stable condition and were being treated for their injuries at the Lakeland Regional Medical Center. No other church members were injured.
Authorities took Fogle into custody on charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder and were investigating to determine his motive. They initially provided a different spelling of his last name.