The Rev. William Schooler turned over Sunday service at his Ohio church to the choir director and headed to his office.
Then, as the choir sang, Schooler was shot and killed, the Dayton Daily News reported.
“We heard pow, pow,” St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church member Beulah Booker-Robertson told the newspaper. “The usher at the door said ‘everybody get down, everybody get out.’”
Police on Sunday arrested Schooler’s brother, Daniel Gregory Schooler, on murder charges. Jail records do not list attorney information for him, and his first court hearing is scheduled for Monday afternoon. He was expected to be formally charged Monday, the Associated Press reported.
Sgt. Richard Blommel described the shooting as a “domestic incident,” NBC News reported.
Reports paint a chaotic scene on Sunday about 12:30 p.m. at St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church in Dayton. A parishioner who called 911 told the dispatcher, “We were still having church services when he started shooting,” according to 911 audio obtained by WDTN-TV.
“I just got everybody out of the church and we just kept hearing shooting and shooting,” parishioner Alberta Blayth told the Dayton Daily News.
The pastor, 70, was shot multiple times, police told the newspaper.
About 20 people were in the congregation during the shooting, and William Schooler was pronounced dead at the scene, WDTN reported.
“I can’t believe it,” church member Vonette McGraw told the station. “I can’t believe that my pastor is gone.”
William Schooler once served on the Dayton Public Schools Board of Education and as president of the Dayton Baptist Pastors and Ministers Union of Greater Dayton, according to WDTN.
Joyce Napier, niece of William and Daniel Schooler, told the Dayton newspaper that Daniel Schooler had struggled with mental illness, and that her family is in pain.
“We stick together. And we pray,” she told the newspaper. “And don’t turn on each other . . . because he has daughters, the other one has daughters. And we loved them both, so we have to stick together. That’s all we know, that’s all we have.”