A suspect has been arrested after a church shooting in East Selma, Alabama, left a woman, an infant, and a pastor injured Sunday morning. According to the Associated Press, James Minter was arrested and charged with three counts of attempted murder.
The Dallas County District Attorney Michael W. Jackson told The Selma Times-Journal that the woman and her newborn baby were transported to a hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, for treatment; the pastor was treated for a leg wound in a local emergency room. Minter is being held in the Dallas County Jail without bond and is facing life in prison.
The shooting at the Southern church brought immediate reminders of the June shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, that left nine people dead. The shooting was declared to be a hate crime, as white Dylann Roof allegedly shot the nine black victims because of the intense racist believes he held. He has been charged with 33 federal violations, including nine counts of hate crime murder.
Jackson told the AP that the shooting at Oasis Tabernacle Church was not race-related, but that it stemmed from a domestic dispute between the suspect and the woman, who The Selma Times-Journal reports was his girlfriend. Minter, his girlfriend, and her child are black; the pastor is white.
According to The New York Times, police said Minter, 26, sat next to his girlfriend during a church service and then allegedly pulled a gun and shot her in the jaw and shoulder, before shooting the 1-month-old baby boy, who suffered a hand injury. The newspaper reported that the pastor attempted to grab Minter and was shot in the process, and then congregants took the gun from him. Jackson told The New York Times:
The pastor was trying to wrestle the gun from him — the pastor was being a good Samaritan. ... It's the world we live in now, where people can't just worship. They have to be on alert for other things.