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North Carolina: Jehovah’s Witnesses scrambled to safety after member shot outside NC worship hall

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A North Carolina congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses was “still a little traumatized” Thursday after a church member was shot while sitting in her car in the church parking lot Wednesday night, an elder told The Charlotte Observer.

Several other members who were outside during the shooting scrambled to safety in the congregation‘s Kingdom Hall, joining other worshippers who “sheltered in place,” Elder John Wray said. The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses is located in Gastonia.

Wray, who was among those in the church at the time, said he never heard any of the shots outside.

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I was not there, Wednesday night, as my wife and I started attending a different congregation that attends the same Kingdom Hall about three weeks ago, but the Sister was shot at...not shot.

The report I got when I asked a Gastonia police officer this Thursday night, was that the Sister had just gotten into her car, and closed the door, when one of three suspects who had just robbed a nearby store, and were escaping on foot, tried to hijack her car, and shot the car twice, attempting to get her to relinquish it, which she did not, and she was hit with "shrapnel", which was not specified, but which might have been fragments of bullets, or broken glass.

Very minor injuries.

The front door of the Kingdom Hall is a plate glass door, in a steel frame, and inside are normally stationed two Brothers who sit in chairs, one directly inside the door, which is locked during the meetings, as a doorman, to open it for congregants coming late, etc.,(he can of course, see who is on the other side ...), and another Brother in a chair, just inside the auditorium. 

I have referred to them as "Brothers Bullet Catchers", in the past.

The door is NOT "bullet proof", according to an Elder I asked, about  six months ago.


To paraphrase a common saying,

"Stuff Happens"".


" You only need four things to win a gunfight.

Excellent reflexes and a working handgun of appropriate caliber,

To be able to hit what you aim at, and

The will to take another man's life.

The rest is up to divine providence, and pure dumb luck."

James B. Hickok,  1874


But then again, Four Sisters were killed in an automobile accident in Grand Prairie, Texas, WHILE ENGAGED IN FIELD SERVICE, Texas, years ago, when a vehicle ran a stop light and T-boned their car in an intersection.

Jehovah does not interfere with ANYTHING in the modern day.

"chance and circumstance befall us all. ..."

....... be careful out there, if you can manage it, and decide to do so.

Even at least several of the  Apostles were armed with their personal weapons, in an upstairs room, in downtown Jerusalem at the last congregational meeting, and the Memorial of Christ's impending execution, and it was not to defend against rogue bears that climb stairs.

Luke 22:36

"Stuff Happens".

.... be careful out there .....


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UPDATE: Friday, Jan 17, 2020

I just talked to an Elder at my old congregation, and he said that the assailant fired two bullets into the car of the Congregation Coordinator, Lance Keel, and his wife threw her daughter to the seat as a bullet passed over her head.  She was grazed by one bullet on her rib area, .... "merely a flesh wound", that created a groove, but not a hole.

The Elder said that the whole congregation was, and continues to be  traumatized (the police kept them in place at the Kingdom Hall until 11PM, to try and find the assailant, who got away.) This Saturday they are having a special needs meeting with the whole congregation to decide on new cameras and lighting to put up, as this event happened in the middle of the parking lot, away from the Kingdom Hall.

I mentioned that I knew the glass door was NOT bullet resistant, but he said one of the Brothers was putting a layer of plastic film on the glass (?)  I mentioned to him that they make transparent aluminum now (mostly nitrogen, actually..)  which will stop a 50 caliber machine gun bullet at point blank range, at which his eyes glazed over.

I suppose they will also formulate a plan (satire alert!) so that if anything like this happens again, the congregation will throw their cell phones at the shooter.

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6 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

machine gun bullet at point blank range, at which his eyes glazed over.

Talk to the circuit overseer. The value of ife is more important than a window. I understand how you feel. If the elders as a body do nothing .....then speak to circuit overseer. I also do not like "glazed" looks.  Maybe he just never thought of it before.... so lets give them benefit of the doubt - for now.

If you mention that someone might sue if they get shot in future - especially after this warning -  it may work to get them moving faster.  A new door may be a better idea.

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