Suspect Arrested In World Changers Church Shooting
ATLANTA, Ga. (AJC) - Police have arrested the suspect in the fatal shooting of a man Wednesday morning at World Changers Church International in College Park.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Floyd Palmer, 52, was reportedly arrested at Lenox Mall in Buckhead Wednesday afternoon. He was wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of Greg McDowell, 39, at the megachurch founded by televangelist Creflo Dollar. Dollar was not at the church at the time of the shooting, according to police.
Police identified McDowell as a member and volunteer prayer leader at the church.
Fulton County police spokeswoman Cpl. Kay Lester said Palmer, a former employee who resigned in August, "walked calmly into the church and left just as calmly," after the shooting. Police said the suspect left the scene in a black Subaru station wagon.
Police said McDowell was shot around 10:30 a.m. and later died. Lester said it was not yet clear whether McDowell was targeted by the shooter or shot randomly. Lester said the victim was leading prayer at the time of the shooting in the chapel where 20 to 25 people were gathered. Lester said police were in the process of interviewing witnesses and watching the church's surveillance videos.
Police said McDowell was a member of the church's production crew and a facilities maintenance manager at the church at 2500 Burdett Road.
Karen Webb, who had taken her mother to the church for Bible study, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she was told the victim was shot six times.
"I brought my mother up here to go to church — every Wednesday she attends Bible study. As soon as we get here I'm told someone has been shot," Webb said. "He was one of the praise leaders." Webb said she was told the shooter was a 20-year member of the church.
Antonio Wills, a former member who lives near the church, said the incident sends "a shock wave through the city."
Wills said his thoughts were on the man who was killed.
"Hopefully everybody will pray for the victim's family," he said.
Dollar, a popular televangelist, started World Changers Ministries in 1986 with eight members, holding services in the cafeteria of a local elementary school, according to the church's website. Its campus now occupies 81 acres, with services held in the 8,500-seat World Dome. Dollar is a regular on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.