A Texas pastor was found beaten to death in his own church Monday. According to police, the assailant rammed his car into the church and proceeded to chase the pastor with an electric guitar.
The attack occurred in Forest Hill, a Fort Worth suburb in northern Texas, according to The Associated Press. The victim was identified as the Rev. Danny Kirk Sr. according to the AP. Kirk was the founding pastor of Greater Sweethome Missionary Baptist Church.
The attacker was identified as Derek Birdow, 33. Birdow attacked the pastor with an electric guitar and proceeded to beat him to death, reports WFAA-TV. Birdow was pronounced dead at a hospital after police used a Taser to place him under arrest. The incident occurred around 11:15 a.m.
The church secretary made the call to 911, according to the AP. The attack occurred in the parking lot and continued inside the church as the pastor tried to escape Birdow. The church's custodian also was attacked by Birdow and remains in stable condition at a hospital.
The police found Birdow attacking Kirk with the guitar and used the Taser, arrested him and put him in the police car as officers attended to Kirk. Birdow was found unresponsive and later pronounced dead, reports AP.
According to Forest Hill Police Chief Dan Dennis, police are not sure of the motive of Birdow for the attack on the pastor. Birdow's cousin reported that Birdow's children attended the church although that is unconfirmed at the moment, WFAA-TV reports. The cousin believes Birdow may have been on drugs at the time.
As news of the pastor's death spread, hundreds of people gathered outside of the church, according to AP. Many were in tears and recalled their time with the pastor including his dedicated service to the community, including his counseling of a high school football team, reports AP.