A North Texas congregation is reeling after an attacker rammed a car into a church wall, chased the pastor, and beat him to death with an electric guitar.
Police told reporters they didn’t know why the unidentified suspect attacked Rev. Danny Kirk Sr., founding pastor of the Greater Sweethome MIssionary Baptist Church.
In a harrowing 911 call an unidentified church secretary said that some staff tried to fight him off but that Kirk was in desperate need of an ambulance.
‘My pastor’s bleeding, he’s been attacked,’ the worker tells dispatchers while locked in her office.’I'm not going out there. I need real help fast. Send policeman. I do need an ambulance also.’
‘Does your pastor know him?’ the dispatcher asked.
‘I have no idea.’
The unidentified assailant apparently drove his car into the church wall on purpose shortly before noon.
He then began to attack Kirk in the parking lot before chasing him into the church, according to Forest Hill Police Chief Dan Dennis.
When police arrived they found the suspect striking Kirk with an electric guitar they believe was already in the church.
When police arrived they had to use a Taser to subdue the man, handcuffed him, and locked him in their patrol car.
Sadly it was too late for Kirk who had already died.
A maintenance worker who tried to help Kirk was also injured and taken to an area hospital but his condition is unknown.
The assailant himself was found unresponsive shortly after being taken into custody and was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Dennis told reporters police did not yet know if the suspect knew Kirk, attended the church, or what his motives were for attacking the pastor.
For hours after the shocking attack hundreds gathered outside the church, gathering around the crime-scene tape wrapped around a small statue of Jesus near the wrecked car.
Many mourned Kirk as a dedicated minister with a cheerful personality who knew the names of each of his hundreds of church members.
‘He really was concerned about our souls,’ recalled Montoya McNeil, a member for eight years. ‘You looked forward to being here… I’m not asking God why, because I know where he is, but we won’t get those big bear hugs and those great sermons anymore.’
Kirk started the congregation years ago in a strip mall before growing the ranks so large he needed to build a red-brick church.
He was also an unofficial volunteer chaplain who occasionally counseled members of the local high school football team.
‘Our hearts are heavy right now,’ said Reginald Wilson, an associate minister at the church.