It’s truly a shame when people can’t even feel safe and comfortable showing up for a morning prayer service, but that’s what this world has come to I guess. Just ask the folks who assembled for such an event this morning at Creflo Dollar’s World Changers Church International in College Park, Ga, who were present when a former maintenance man walked up to the worship leader and put multiple bullets in his body, killing him.
It’s not clear what the motive was, but 52-year-old Floyd Palmer, who was arrested on Wednesday afternoon, was said to have calmly walked into the worship service and proceeded to shoot the 39-year-old worship leader, Greg McDowell, at point-blank range. Palmer only fired at this volunteer, but not any of the other 20-plus people attending the service. According to USA Today, the shooter had a criminal past, including pleading guilty in 2004 to assault and carrying a handgun in Baltimore.
According to a Fulton County Police spokeswoman, Palmer came to the church dressed in a suit and tie, so it’s unclear if he came to the church with the motive of only killing McDowell. Coincidentally, the megachurch, which has about 30,000 members, has both uniformed and plainclothes security on grounds most of the time. Dollar was not present during the shooting. Palmer was picked up at a local Macy’s in the late afternoon as his car was spotted in the mall parking lot. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the victim was was a member of the church’s production crew as well as a facilities maintenance manager, and because Palmer just resigned his maintenance position in August because of personal reasons, it seems these men would have a reason to come into contact with one another for previous reasoms. But once again, a motive isn’t clear as of yet.
In an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Pastor Ken Terry said that McDowell, a volunteer for a long time, “was faithful for a number of years. We have known him for years. Since he was a little kid. McDowell was the father of two toddlers with his wife Rosetta, which Terry touched on. “He spent a tremendous amount of time with them. He was the model dad.” Such a tragedy boggles me because of how bold the shooter was to go into the house of the Lord and do such a thing. But I guess this is the world we live in now…