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Mother, baby, pastor shot in Alabama church

21 September 2015 9:17


A man has opened fire in a church in the US state of Alabama, wounding a woman, her baby son and the pastor before he was disarmed, police say.

The shooter, identified as 26-year-old James Junior Minter, was arrested and charged Sunday with three counts of attempted murder at the Oasis Church in East Selma, according to authorities

According to Michael W. Jackson, the district attorney of Dallas County, Minter entered the church during the Sunday morning service and sat next to the woman and his one-month-old son in the front row.

Shortly afterwards, the suspect took out a pistol and shot the mother in the face, before turning the gun on the baby.

Jackson said the shooting appeared to have stemmed from a domestic dispute.

The mother was shot twice in her jaw and shoulder, and the child was wounded in one hand. Both were taken to a regional hospital in Birmingham.

“The pastor was trying to wrestle the gun from him — the pastor was being a Good Samaritan,” said Jackson. “But he got shot.”

“The pastor probably prevented a lot more shooting,” he added. “It’s the world we live in now, where people can’t just worship. They have to be on alert for other things.”

In June, a man opened fire on worshipers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and killed nine people.

The fatal shooting reignited national debates over gun control in the United States — an issue that President Barack Obama said left him most “frustrated” over the past six years of his presidency.

In the wake of the shooting, Obama acknowledged that he has been unable to make any significant changes to the nation’s gun laws.

The president has been trying to expand background checks and impose new restrictions on guns, but his efforts have been met with stiff resistance from the powerful gun lobby.

Gun production has more than doubled under the Obama administration, according to a report by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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