Richmond, Calif., is regularly near the top of the FBI’s list of most dangerous American cities (14th last year). Last fall it provided the dateline for that horrific alleged gang-rape. All that makes this story no less terrifying:
Three young men with black sweatshirt hoods pulled over their heads walked into a packed church service in Richmond on Sunday, where one of them opened fire and wounded two teenagers sitting in the pews, police said.
The three suspects - who may have been juveniles - fled after the brash 12:30 p.m. attack at New Gethsemane Church of God in Christ, as the singing of the choir was replaced by frightened screams, said Richmond police Sgt. Bisa French.
The two victims, a 14-year-old boy and a 19-year-old man, were hospitalized and were expected to survive. However, French said, they were not willing to help investigators try to track down their assailants. ...
A church deacon who was present during the shooting, Charles Miller, said one of the victims was struck in the leg and the other in the shoulder. It was not clear, both he and French said, whether they were intended targets. ...
Miller, 64, said he was deeply troubled by the shooting, which showed a lack of respect for his church and its members.
“It’s terrible when you come to the house of the Lord and start doing this,” he said. “It’s just something you don’t do.”
I wish that was true. But, tragically, church shootings are all too common. Not common in the sense that it’s something you should personally worry about while singing hymns, but common in that I feel like I’ve written a handful of blog posts about church shootings.