May 21, 2006

Five dead after church shooting

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - A man shot and killed at least four
people in a Louisiana church on Sunday morning before
kidnapping his three children and estranged wife, who was later
found dead, media reports said.

The suspect, identified by Fox News as Anthony Bell, 25,
was arrested after police got a report of a shooting at an
apartment complex near the church about 90 minutes after the
killings in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the city's police chief,
Jeff LeDuff said.

"We were able to take him into custody without incident.
But we also have found that his estranged wife was found dead
in the car," LeDuff told Fox.

"It's a very sad day for Baton Rouge. This is very unusual
for our city," LeDuff said. "We are in total disbelief."

The suspect shot five people at the Ministry of Jesus
Christ Church before kidnapping his family, LeDuff said. Three
were pronounced dead at the scene, and a fourth died in a

Another shooting victim was taken to a hospital and was
expected to recover, he said.

The suspect dropped off two of his children at a family
member's residence after the shootings, then drove off with his
wife and a newborn child, according to LeDuff.

It was not immediately clear how the suspect's wife died or
what kind of weapon was used in the killings.

LeDuff added the suspect was holding his infant child when
police arrived at the apartment complex.

"Officers were able to get close enough to ascertain that
he was not armed at that point, and they were able to take the
child into safety," he said.