COPY-Ill. church gunman's motives a mystery

Associated Press - March 9, 2009 3:54 AM ET

MARYVILLE, Ill. (AP) - With 1,200 people attending Sunday services at the First Baptist Church in Maryville, parishioners initially weren't alarmed when a young man they didn't recognize walked up the sprawling church's center aisle during the sermon. Until he opened fire.

Illinois State Police say the gunman strode toward the Rev. Fred Winters shortly after 8 a.m. yesterday, exchanged words with him, then shot four rounds at him with a .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol.

Winters later died at a hospital of his injuries.

Authorities didn't know whether Winters, a married father of 2, knew the gunman. Police would not release the gunman's name pending possible charges.

They would say only that he's a 27-year-old man from nearby Troy.

(On the Net:

First Baptist: http://www.fbmaryville.org/)

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