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US church gunman was charged in mosque shooting

Floyd Palmer was acting as security at a Maryland mosque in June 2001 when he shot another man working with him.

Baltimore: A former US megachurch maintenance man accused of killing a volunteer leading a prayer service was charged more than a decade ago with a shooting at a mosque, according to police documents.

Floyd Palmer was acting as security at a Maryland mosque in June 2001 when he shot another man working with him, wounding him in the back, according to a police report obtained by a news agency on Thursday.

Palmer tried to fire the gun again, but it jammed. When other people ran to him, he turned the gun on them, but it again wouldn`t fire, according to the documents.

Palmer faced attempted murder, assault and handgun charges, and he was committed to a psychiatric hospital in 2004 after pleading not criminally responsible to lesser charges.

Court records show he was released the next year.

On Wednesday, authorities said Palmer, 51, calmly walked into a chapel at World Changers Church International in Georgia as Greg McDowell, 39, was leading a morning prayer service for about 25 people.

Only McDowell was shot. Authorities are trying to figure out if the two men knew each other.

Palmer casually walked out, and police arrested him several hours later.

Palmer had been working at the megachurch, but he quit in August for "personal reasons”, Fulton County Police Cpl Kay Lester said.

Palmer faces murder and firearms charges. His next hearing is on November 08.

The Fulton County public defender is representing Palmer, but a representative said no one was immediately available to comment.

Although the megachurch campus has security officers and surveillance cameras, Lester said the suspect was known to some at the service, so his presence wouldn`t have been unusual.

The church is one of the largest in the United States, claiming 30,000 members at the main campus and a ministry of satellite churches across the country.


From Zee News

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