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Second victim dies after Detroit church shootings

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Gunman also committed suicide

DETROIT -- A second victim died Monday after a man opened fire during a Sunday church service, sending frightened parishioners ducking under the pews for safety. The gunman later killed himself.

The victim who died Monday, identified only as a man in his 50s, was shot while trying to protect his wife from a carjacking attempt outside the church.

The shooting at Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church killed a 38-year-old woman and wounded a girl sitting next to her. The violence grew out of a domestic dispute, said police Second Deputy Chief James Tate.

The gunman was identified as 22-year-old Kevin L. Collins, who reportedly went to the church looking for his 19-year-old girlfriend, Jamika Williams.

The young woman's aunt, Connie Minter, told The Detroit News that Collins began shooting after Williams' mother refused to tell him where to find her daughter.

The mother, Rosetta Williams, was killed. A girl seated next to Williams was hit in the hand by shotgun pellets.

Ann Armstrong, 30, of Detroit, watched the shootings unfold.

"I seen him come in through the balcony door, and he pulled the gun from under his coat," Armstrong said. "He just started shooting her, then he shot at the pulpit."

The gunman then left the church and tried to carjack a woman before shooting her husband when he tried to intervene.

About 5 1/2 hours later, Tate said officers spotted Collins walking about a mile south of the church and saw him run behind a home. "An officer then heard a loud boom," Tate said. Collins died of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

In the church, members prayed and embraced each other as police started coming in, Armstrong said. "It was a lot of crying, a lot of hugging and a lot of praying," she said.

Church members then continued the service, Tate said.

"They didn't let this incident stop the reason why they came to church," he said. "They came to worship."

The Rev. Curtis Grant, the church's pastor, asked people to pray for those involved in the shooting.

"The sanctity of our sanctuary has been disturbed," Grant said. "We're just trying to get the families and children through this tragedy."


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