DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — An Ohio pastor is dead after police said he was allegedly shot by his younger brother.
Family members of the two said they are in shock after what happened.
“It’s a tragedy,” said Tina Schooler, a niece to the victim and the alleged shooter. “I love my uncles and it saddens me.”
Pastor William Schooler, 70, of Dayton was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.
“He was a great father, great provider, great protector,” said Patricia Mapir-Wright, another niece.
Police were called after a 911 caller said a man opened fire at St. Peters Missionary Baptist Church in the 3300 block of Nancy Avenue around 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
Witnesses said the shooting happened while the choir was singing at the end of the service.
“That’s when we started running,” said Loretta Smith, a member of the church. “It was awful, just awful.”
Dayton police said Schooler was in a private office when he was shot.
Officers believe Schooler’s brother, Daniel Gregory Schooler, 68, may have been the shooter.
He has been arrested in connection with the shooting and is currently booked into the Montgomery County Jail facing murder charges. He is expected to make his first court appearance on Monday.
“This was somewhat of a domestic situation between family members and the public is safe,” said Sgt. Creigee Coleman of the Dayton Police Department.
The church congregation of about 20 immediately started fleeing from the building after hearing gun shots. There were no other injuries and police said there were no other intended victims.
Dayton police were able to arrest the shooter when officers arrived.
According to Montgomery County Court records, Daniel Schooler has had a history of violence.
In 2001, he was convicted of felonious assault with a deadly weapon. In 2002, Schooler was again convicted of felonious assault with a deadly weapon after he was accused of kidnapping a child.
Pastor Schooler was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy is schedule for Monday, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.
“I can’t believe it,” said Vonette McGraw, another member of the church. “I can’t believe that my pastor is gone.”
The pastor was a former member of the Dayton Public School Board of Education. He was also president of the Dayton Baptist Pastors and Ministers Union of Greater Dayton, Inc.
A member of the union said the Black History Worship Service scheduled for Sunday at Zion Baptist Church was canceled in honor of Dr. William B. Schooler.
The shooting has prompted some community members to speak out on gun violence. The Community Progress Institute of Dayton, a nonprofit which is devoted to improving the city’s neighborhoods, released a statement shortly after Sunday’s shooting.
“It has become obvious that the current regulations and enforcement of the regulations pertaining to gun violence are not sufficient and we need to come up with a better way,” said the organization in a press release.
The group is planning on hosting a Gun Violence Solutions Summit on Tuesday, March 8 at 6 P.M. It will be held at the organization’s offices at the Kettering Tower located at 40 N. Main Street in Dayton. A time has not been announced.