DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – An 84-year-old security guard was shot to death in the parking lot of a Detroit church while Bible study took place inside.
Police said it happened just before 9 p.m. Wednesday at Victory Way Assembly Church of God near Tireman and Vancourt.
Deacon Jimmy Jones of Victory Way Assembly Church of God in Christ told the Detroit Free Press that the death of Joseph Lewis after Wednesday night’s shooting is a “heart breaker.”
Two men approached the elderly man as he sat in his car, a struggle ensued and one of the attackers shot the man, police said.
“We were in Bible study and a young man ran into the church and said, `Your guard was shot,”‘ Jones said. “They don’t have no regard whether it’s a church, a party store or your house, they don’t have any regard. They don’t have that type of fear anymore.”
A message was left Thursday for Jones, who told the newspaper about 15 members of the church on the city’s west side were inside for Bible study at the time.
Jones says Lewis was armed, but his gun was found in his holster as a Detroit police officer performed CPR at the scene.
The attackers fled.
Emergency crews took Lewis to a local hospital where he died.
No arrests were reported and police said there were no updates in the case Thursday morning
The church hired security about three years ago due to concerns about crime, Jones said. On Thursday, church members were expected to decide whether to fence the lot or install cameras. “We’re going to be looking at it today, things that will give us more security around there,” he said.
Talking to WWJ Newsradio 950’s Ron Dewey, area residents said Lewis was a fixture in the neighborhood.
Bonnie Rivers said she’d spoken more than once with Lewis, and he was a friendly guy. She said it’s difficult to understand why he would be attacked.
“You don’t know the situation. But, considering his age, and the type of person he was in speaking you wouldn’t think anything like that would happen to him,” Rivers said.
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