Texas Man, 21, Charged With Fatal Shooting of Pastor at Church

A father allegedly beat a man to death who stole a car with his kids inside.
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Mytrez Deunte Woolen has been charged with first-degree murder and felony assault. His bond is set at $3.5 million.

A 21-year-old who is accused of killing a Texas church pastor and injuring two other people has been arrested by police after authorities found him hiding in the church bathroom.

Pastor Mark Allen McWilliams of Starrville Methodist Church was shot and killed after finding Mytrez Deunte Woolen hiding in his church’s bathroom on Sunday morning, Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith said at a news conference.

Woolen was on the run from police following a car chase with authorities late Saturday night. When McWilliams, 62, found Deunte hiding in his church, he drew his own gun, asking Woolen to stop, according to police. Woolen allegedly shot McWilliams dead after Woolen grabbed the gun, according to police. 

Another person in the church was injured by the gun fire. A third sustained an injury when they fell, police said.

“This is not a church-related, religion-related offense," Smith said.

Authorities were initially looking for Woolen because was suspected of showing a shotgun through the sunroof of the car that he was driving, authorities said. He was hiding in the church from authorities, police said. After allegedly killing McWilliams, the Sheriff’s office said Woolen stole the pastor’s car and fled.

Woolen was hospitalized after being shot in the hand after he was captured by police, ABC News reported. It’s not clear when he was shot. He has been charged with first-degree murder and felony assault. His bond is set at $3.5 million.

Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement after the murder. “Our hearts are with the victims and the families of those killed or injured in this terrible tragedy,” he said in a statement.