Daughter of Lake Charles pastor details father's killing

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The daughter of a Lake Charles pastor who was shot to death during a church service says her father was shot in the back as members of the congregation took cover.

Talisha Harris was inside the church, along with more than 60 others, on Friday night when shots were fired inside the sanctuary. Harris said she saw a man fire three shots from a shotgun, striking her father, Ronald J. Harris Sr., twice.

"He came in and the first shot he hit, he hit a plant," Harris said.

"I remember my Daddy taking off running and he shot him in the back and he fell by my kids trying to run," she added.

Harris said after her father collapsed, Woodrow Karey Jr. fired another shot and watched him die before leaving the church.

"He got over him again and shot him again and kind of stood there, I guess to watch him take his last breath," she said.

Karey 53, of Lake Charles, faces a charge of second-degree murder after turning himself in to authorities after the shooting. Harris said Karey is a former member of the church.

Harris said she has questions for the alleged shooter.

"Why would you kill him? What was the reason? If you were angry with him, you could have beat him. Don't shoot him twice with a shotgun. You're intentions were to kill him," Harris said.

Karey remained in the Calcasieu Correctional Center Sunday in lieu of a $1 million bond.

Harris remembered her father as a servant of God. She said he was a dedicated leader.

"He was an awesome preacher, teacher. He had a big heart," she said.

Sunday services were canceled at the church, where a note was left on the door announcing a memorial service for later this week.

A candlelight service is planned at the Tabernacle of Praise Worship Center located at 307 Deshotel Lane in Lake Charles on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. The gathering will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the parking lot.

There will be a memorial service on Thursday, Oct. 10 at the True Light Missionary Baptist Church located at 1518 Gerstner Memorial Drive in Lake Charles. That service will begin at 7 p.m.

Harris' wake and funeral will be at the Agape Love Center located at 1515 Texas Street in Nachitoches. The wake will be Friday, Oct. 11 and the funeral will be on Saturday, Oct. 12.

The church will find a way to continue without its pastor, Harris said. So far, no plans for future services have been announced yet.

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