ATLANTA — A woman opened fire at a church before services started Sunday, killing her mother and the minister before committing suicide, police said.
Congregants of Turner Monumental AME Church said Shelia W. Chaney Wilson, 43, was agitated when she came to the church in the Kirkwood neighborhood, on the city's eastern side.
Wilson apparently shot the Rev. Johnny Clyde Reynolds after he greeted her and was walking away with his back to her, said Sgt. John Quigley, an Atlanta police spokesman. Officers believe Wilson then shot Jennie Mae Robinson once in the head before turning the gun on herself.
One woman in the sanctuary at the time fled after the first shot was fired, and another took cover behind a pulpit, Quigley said.
He added that an assistant pastor came in after hearing shots and found the bodies on the floor.
Wilson's cousin, Nekeshia Burton, said Wilson went to the church early in the morning to talk to Reynolds, 62.
"Something wasn't sitting right with her," Burton said, adding, however, that there were no signs Wilson would become violent.
Assistant Pastor Christy Miller said the pastor had just finished teaching Sunday school and was walking through the church when he stopped to talk with Wilson and Robinson, 67.
Geraldine Andrews, the pastor's daughter-in-law and a friend of Wilson's family, said Robinson recently took her daughter out of a mental health facility.
Debra Mitchell, a member of the church, said Wilson had recently lost her job.
"We knew she had some instability, but we didn't know it was this deep," Mitchell said.