Congregation members react to double shooting in Fresno church parking lot

FRESNO, Calif. - Dozens of church goers continued with mass as crime scene investigators worked outside.

The priest of Saint Alphonsus Church said he did not cancel services because he felt that after the shooting prayer was needed..

The shooting happened early Sunday morning, just outside in the church's back parking lot.

Police said a woman was shot and killed and a man was critically hurt and taken to the hospital where he later died.

Police say the woman's husband shot them both in the head while they were at church.

"We all feel really really bad here," Eleanor Gonzalez, a church member, said.

Gonzalez was on her way to church when she received a phone call about the shooting in the church parking lot.

"When I heard about this it was really sad, I called some of my family members to let them know," Gonzalez said.

Father Dominic Rajappa, of Saint Alphonsus Church, said many of the morning congregation members were leaving and others were on their way for the second service, when the shooting happened.

"Half of them were coming, still people were inside and we heard two shots, gunshots," Rajappa said.

He said it's the first time something this tragic has happened at the church in his eight years as priest.

Rajappa said they even built a gate around the church for protection.

"I condemn this kind of violence, this kind of events, we are people of god, we need to love god, we need to love our neighbors," Rajappa said.

Gonzalez said the two shot were not regulars but says the shooting brings up a lot of painful memories.

She said her daughter's husband shot and killed her, almost a year ago.

"Being that it happened here at church it's worst, it's even more worst because people don't respect the church anymore," Gonzalez said.

Other church members agree. Many said after they heard about the Texas shooting, they were not sure what was going on.

"It's sad, you don't know what's going on, you don't know what kind of lives people are living, what can we say, just pray for everybody," Mercy Jones, a church member, said.

The church has no plans to shut down. The priest said the congregation needs each other now more than ever.


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