Daughter of Lake Charles pastor remembers her father

Talisha Harris
Talisha Harris
Ronald J. Harris Sr.
Ronald J. Harris Sr.

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Church members from the Tabernacle of Praise continue to stay by the Harris family's side as they all remember their pastor.

"He was an awesome preacher, teacher," said daughter, Talisha Harris. "He had a big heart."

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 continued.

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 recounted.

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.

As the family tries to move on, Harris said she has questions for the suspected killer.

"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. Your intentions were to kill him," Harris said.

Harris also said her father loved to fish and care for his family, but she mostly spoke of his love for God.

"He was a strong person and whatever came his way, he still stood on the word of God," said Harris. "He stood and he never wavered or anything."

She said he also had an ability to make anyone laugh. 
"In any situation, he always made everyone laugh and brought his humor in it," said Harris.
Harris said the Tabernacle of Praise will go on, along with the family and congregation.

"We're going to make it and we survived," said Harris. "And everything he taught us, he's going to be proud of us one day."
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