The suspect entered the church and attempted to hold a sermon
A shooting has shaken up the small town of Ashtabula, Ohio, where a man has been killed by his son outside a church.WTAM notes that Rashad Riddle has been arrested after shooting his father, Richard Riddle, in the head.
The incident took place at around 1:15 p.m. in front of the Hiawatha Church of God in Christ on Sunday, March 31.
75 to 100 people were in the church at the time, a lot of whom were children brought in for the Easter sermon.
“When we heard the initial gunshot, we had people out in the hall and some came in running saying ‘Someone got shot outside the church’,” church administrator Sean Adams recalls for Erie TV News.
The News Herald informs that the victim died almost instantly, according to an account by Deacon Michael Wofford. No other injuries were reported after parishioners rushed back inside the church and lay on the ground.
“So they proceeded to tell everyone to come in and get down and get underneath the pews and stay down. The shooter came in our sanctuary, holding his gun up in the air saying ‘This is the will of Allah’,” Adams adds.
“People pushed me back into the office and said, ‘Somebody’s here with a gun.’ The guy was outside hollering and acting crazy,” says Rev. David Howard Jr.
After the shooting, the suspect entered the church and started acting “crazy,” taking the reverend's spot and starting to preach until police officers arrived, just a few minutes later.
“My real concern was that we had a lot of kids here. [...] What was he going to do when he stopped talking? [...] A lot of kids came because we had an Easter program today.
“A lot of [people] are traumatized after seeing something like that happen,” Wofford concludes.