Case report released in fatal church shooting - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Case report released in fatal church shooting

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Ronald Harris Sr. (Source: Ronald Harris Sr. (Source:
Woodrow Karey Jr. (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office) Woodrow Karey Jr. (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)
Case report (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office) Case report (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)

The case report for the investigation into Friday's fatal church shooting at the Tabernacle of Praise Church was released Wednesday by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office.

Pastor Ronald J. Harris Sr. was shot twice during a church service in front of around 60 congregation members.

Woodrow Karey Jr., 53, of Lake Charles, is accused in the case. He remains in the Calcasieu Correctional Center on $1 million bond on a second-degree murder charge.

According to the documents, at about 8:19 p.m. Friday, deputies were dispatched to the church at 307 Deshotel Lane. They arrived and found people running outside the church into the parking lot. Lake Charles Police were on the scene.

The report states deputies spoke with some of the people outside who indicated that a man, later identified as Karey, entered the church with "a gun raised" at Harris. Two shots were fired.

"Witnesses stated Woodrow fled the church exiting through the north side exit door. Woodrow then fled on foot in an unknown direction. Dispatch stated Woodrow was on the phone telling deputies where he was located. A few seconds later, Dispatch advised Woodrow was in custody," the report states.

Karey was located and cuffed in an empty lot north of Opelousas Street, west of Deshotel Lane. The report states he was advised of his Miranda Rights.

Deputies and Lake Charles officers entered the church and spotted people sitting in a pew at the north exit door.

"Deputies noticed Ronald lying on the floor next to the front pew at the north exit door. After clearing the church of any other possible threats, Acadian Ambulance began their assessment of Ronald and advised Deputies they were unable to find any vitals on Ronald. Deputies then notified Violent Crimes Detectives along with the FIU Division and the Coroner's Office," the report states.

After Karey was advised of his rights, the report states deputies asked him what happened.

"Woodrow stated several times ‘He raped my wife,' " the report states.

Karey also pointed deputies to guns that were in the nearby woods. The weapons were located. He was asked by deputies again what happened.

"Woodrow once again stated, ‘He raped my wife,' " the report states.

When asked if he shot someone, Karey replied, "yes," according to the report.

"Woodrow was placed into the back of Unit 213," it continues.

He was questioned by detectives at the Sheriff's Office later that night.

Karey's attorneys, Adam P. Johnson and Todd S. Clemons, released a statement on Thursday on Karey's behalf:

"It is our pleasure to zealously represent Woodrow Karey Jr. He is a hardworking and dedicated husband and father. We are in the initial stages of attempting to gather all the pertinent facts. We realize that rumors and supposition are running rampant. However, we encourage everyone not to rush to judgment and to afford our client his constitutionally mandated presumption of innocence. We extend our heartfelt prayers to the Harris family."

The report is viewable within this story.

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