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Florida Gunman Shoots Two Pastors in Church, Parishoners Tackle Him


Burst into the church after killing one person in a nearby home.

According to the sheriff's office, the suspect shot one victim at a nearby residence and traveled to the Greater Faith Christian Church, where two other victims were shot. (Photo credit: Cheryl Glassford, BN9)

LAKELAND, Fla. (The Blaze/AP) -- A gunman killed one person at a Florida home and then burst through the front door of a nearby church on Sunday, wounding a pastor and associate pastor before parishioners tackled him and held him until deputies arrived.

Pastor William Boss and associate pastor Carl Stewart were in critical condition, the Polk County Sheriff's office said. No other church members were hurt. The person who was killed had not yet been identified.

Jeremiah Fogel, 57, ran through the doors of the Greater Faith Christian Church after a morning service had wrapped up and just before another daily service, authorities said. The red-brick building also serves as a school and sits across from a mobile home park.

It was not immediately known if Fogel had an attorney.

Several police cars and police tape blocked off the church and the street in front. Ambulances and police cars rushed down the street when the shooting happened, neighbors said.

"I've never heard of any problems there," said Bryan Neely, who owns a motorcycle shop about two blocks away.

The sheriff's office was expected to give a press conference Sunday afternoon, Central Florida News 13 reported.

The suspect owned a limousine service that provided transportation to the airport and often worked outside with his wife, mowing the lawn and pulling weeds, neighbors said.

"They both did yard work together. They would cut up and laugh," Doreen Carroll, who lives a couple of blocks away, told The Ledger of Lakeland.

A friend of Boss told the newspaper he is a unique pastor who is caring and works to help the community.

"He had a gift from God to speak," said Reese King, sports director at a local radio station.

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