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Vestavia Hills police identified two victims in Thursday’s fatal church shooting during a news conference Friday morning.
According to police, Walter Rainey, 84, of Irondale, and Sarah Yeager, 75, of Pelham, were killed when a gunman opened fire at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Thursday night. A third victim, an 84-year-old Hoover woman, was injured in the shooting and remains in the hospital.
Police said the shooting occurred at the church, located on Crosshaven Drive, shortly after 6:20 p.m.
2 dead, 1 injured in Alabama church shooting, suspect in custody.
Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the area and initially announced that one person, later identified as Rainey, had died as a result of the shooting. VHPD Capt. Shane Ware announced that a second victim, Yeager, had died just before 9:30 p.m.
Ware said the suspect, an unnamed 71-year-old man, was an occasional churchgoer who entered the facility where a potluck was taking place, opened fire and struck three victims.
Ware confirmed that someone at the church event held the suspect down until police arrived. Police said the suspect will not be identified until warrants are signed.
A motive for the shooting has not been released at this time as police continue to investigate.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey issued a statement regarding the deadly shooting: