CHICAGO (CBS) — Two men were shot and killed Sunday morning outside a South Austin neighborhood church, as service was underway inside.
Police said the shooting happened around 11:15 a.m. at Friendship Baptist Church at 5200 W. Jackson Blvd. Witnesses said a 34-year-old man was walking up the stairs to church with his three children, a 46-year-old man behind them, when two suspects walked up and opened fire.
Emmanuel Fleming, 34, was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Michael Swift, 46, was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“To see my friends’ church taped off like this, I am really disgruntled about this,” said Bishop James Stevenson, of New Hope Baptist Church.
Rev. Ira Acree, pastor of Greater St. John Bible Church, a neighboring church in South Austin, said the shooting is “very embarrassing” for the community.
“We are hurting with them,” Acree said. “It’s a new low for the community. It’s sad.”
Witnessses said Fleming was an usher and dedicated member of Friendship Baptist Church.
“Some way, we as a community, we have let you down; for a church not to be a safe haven for this brother who wakes up on a Sunday morning, trying to do the right thing,” Acree said.
Police said the motive for the shooting was unclear, but investigators were working with faith leaders to find answers.
“It’s a very strong faith-based community over there. That’s going to hit hard for us, and we’re going to deploy resources and work very diligently to find out who did this,” said Area North Deputy Chief Al Nagode.
Police said the two suspects drove off in silver or gray SUV.