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Slain Pastor Blocked 1st Shot With a Bible

As confetti flew, Illinois parishioners thought it was a skit
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2009 7:55 AM CDT
Slain Pastor Blocked 1st Shot With a Bible
Law enforcement and other personnel stand at the main entrance to the First Baptist Church Sunday, March 8, 2009, in Maryville, Ill.    (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

(Newser) – What drove the shooting death of a pastor at an Illinois Baptist church service yesterday remains a mystery, as more details emerge, the Chicago Tribune reports. After exchanging words with the gunman who walked toward him, the pastor blocked the first of four rounds of bullets with a Bible, sending shreds of paper into the air. “When he shot, what you saw was confetti,” said one of about 1200 in the congregation. “We thought it was part of a drama skit.”

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After a struggle, the gunman and a parishioner were in serious condition at a local hospital. There was no immediate evidence the suspect had a criminal background, police said. Police identified the man as a 27-year-old and released his address but not his name; local news linked the address to a man of the same age reported to be battling Lyme disease and previously diagnosed as mentally ill.
(Read more crime stories.)

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