IL Pastor Killed in Church Shooting

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A man was charged with murder Monday for allegedly shooting a southern Illinois pastor through the heart during Sunday services.

Terry Sedlacek, 27, was charged with first-degree murder and aggravated battery, said Stephanee Smith of the Madison County state's attorney's office.

Prosecutors didn't comment on a motive.

Authorities still don't know why Sedlacek shot and killed the pastor at the First Baptist Church near St. Louis.

"We're still not sure what the reasoning was," Illinois State Police Lt. Scott Compton said Monday.

During the Sunday morning service, the 27-year-old man walked down the center aisle, spoke briefly to Pastor Fred Winters and then opened fire.

Police say Sedlacek fired until the gun jammed. Winters deflected the first shot with his Bible.

"There was like confetti all over the stage and.  He shot his Bible and just obliterated it. And it just went everywhere," said witness Claudia Bohley.

Churchgoers wrestled the man to the floor as he waved a knife, slashing himself and two other people.

Erratic Behavior Caused By Lyme Disease?

Sedlacek underwent surgery and remains hospitalized in serious condition.  A judge has ordered him to be held without bond.

Sedlacek's family said he has suffered erractic behavior in the past that was due to Lyme disease. One expert said it would be unlikely that the tick-borne illness would make someone so violent.

"Lyme disease doesn't cause people to shoot people," said Dr. Eugene Shapiro, a Lyme disease expert at Yale University.

Sedlacek was featured last year in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article that told the story of his battle with Lyme disease. In the article, his mother said the disease left lesions on his brain and that doctors had diagnosed him as mentally ill before discovering the disease.

Other Victims Wounded

A 39-year-old parishioner, Terry Bullard, also remained in serious condition Monday morning. The third victim, Keith Melton, was treated and released.

Since the attack, the church has come together to mourn and pray.

"You know, one of the things we encourage the church is, in difficult times like this, God in his divine plan created the church, 'cause he knew there'd be good times and he knew there'd be bad times, and he intended for all of us to go through these together," said Rich Cochran, the youth pastor at First Baptist Church.

"It's just a day-by-day and a moment-by-moment thing, because when we woke up this morning, this was not in our desire, and we never saw this coming," he said.

Pastor Served 22 Years at Maryville Church

Pastor Winters was well liked by his congregation and served at the church for 22 years.

Winters was also a former president of the Illinois Baptist State Association and an adjunct professor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Winters leaves behind a wife and two daughters.

None of the 150 worshippers attending the early morning service recognized Sedlacek.

"Things like this just don't happen in Maryville," Mayor Larry Gulledge said. "We've lost one the pillars of our community, one of our leaders."

Sources:  CBN News, Associated Press

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