Coroner: Police kill gunman at Miss. church

June 24, 2013 8:49:03 AM



JACKSON -- Police fatally shot the son of a church deacon on Sunday morning after they were called to a church when members of the congregation started arguing over the firing of a pastor, authorities said. 


Cacedrick White, 26, arrived with a shotgun and fired it once in the parking lot while police were at the church in Lexington, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain said. A Lexington police officer fired back three times, wounding White. He died at a hospital. 


Strain said no one else was injured or arrested. 


Police were called to the Asia Missionary Baptist Church after congregants began yelling at each other, Strain said. Deacons tried to fire the pastor, but the pastor was trying to get the entire congregation to take a vote on whether to retain him. 


"What happened was a bunch of the pastor's family showed up and there was a whole bunch of yelling and hollering," Strain said. 


Lexington Police Chief Martin Roby said congregants had agreed to settle things among themselves. The two police officers who were on duty in the town of 1,700 people -- plus a Holmes County sheriff's deputy who was called as backup -- were actually leaving when they encountered White at the back door, Roby said. 


Strain said White fired once, and one of the Lexington officers shot White three times from a distance of 15 to 20 feet, Holmes County Sheriff's Office Capt. Sam Chambers said. 


Chambers said he believed someone had called White at home, and he came to the church with the gun. 


"I believe someone called him and got him upset," he said. 


Albert Gibson Sr., White's father, told WAPT-TV that White had come to the church to protect him. 


Disputes among church members over firing a minister or other matters are not uncommon, but authorities said they were surprised that White would bring a gun.