Three shot, two fatally, inside Alabama church

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Three people were shot, two fatally, inside a suburban Alabama church on Thursday evening, before a suspect was taken into custody, police said.

The shooting happened at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Vestavia Hills, Captain Shane Ware of the Vestavia Hills Police Department told a news conference.

“A lone suspect entered a small group church meeting, and began shooting,” he said.

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Vestavia Hills is a city of some 40,000 people about seven miles southeast of Birmingham.

Ware said a suspect, who was not identified, was in custody following the attack. Police did not speculate on a motive for the rampage.

“This is a traumatic thing that has happened to our community, not just the church,” Reverend Kelley Hudlow told local WVTM-TV in an interview. Hudlow said that no church staff members were hurt in the shooting.

The church’s website emphasizes its inclusivity, stating “Regardless if your story, history, economic status, race, gender, or orientation, you are invited to take part of all Sacraments of the Church and life in our community.”

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