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The Journal Gazette

  • This photo released by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office shows Woodrow Karey, Jr. after being charged in the shooting death of Pastor Ronald J. Harris, Sr., Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. Police said a gunman walked into the Tabernacle of Praise Worship Center in Lake Charles and shot Pastor Ronald J. Harris Sr. "as he was preaching." Harris was pronounced dead at the scene. Karey, 53, of Lake Charles, is charged with second-degree murder and was held in the parish jail Saturday. (AP Photo/Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)

Sunday, September 29, 2013 3:06 pm

Sheriff's Office: Pastor shot twice in La. killing

The Associated Press

A 53-year-old man with no known criminal history is being held in lieu of $1 million bond, accused of shooting and killing a preacher during a revival service in southwest Louisiana.

Woodrow Karey, of Lake Charles, surrendered minutes after Ronald Harris was shot in front of 65 worshippers Friday night in the Tabernacle of Praise Worship Center, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office said Saturday. Karey was booked on a second-degree murder charge.

Deputies don't know a motive or of any past history of mental problems for Karey, sheriff's office spokeswoman Myers said in emails Sunday. Investigators also don't know whether the two men knew each other, she said.

"Karey shot Harris with a shotgun twice - once when he walked into the church and a second time when Harris fell to the floor and Karey walked up to him and shot him at close range," she said in a news release Saturday.

She said Karey called to say he would surrender. When he turned himself in, he told deputies where to find a shotgun and a .22-caliber pistol he had left in nearby woods, Myers said.

The sheriff's office is unlikely to release other details before Monday, she wrote.