NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Two people were wounded on Saturday in a drive-by shooting as they walked out of a Tennessee church where they were attending a funeral, authorities said.
Nashville Fire Department officials responded to a call of an active shooter shortly before 1 p.m. CST at the New Season Church in the Bordeaux neighborhood of Nashville, WZTV reported.
Metro Nashville Police Department spokesperson Don Aaron said during a news conference that a four-door late model black Honda Civic with a temporary tag drove by and fired shots into the church as the service was ending, according to the television station. Several attendees at the funeral returned gunfire, WKRN-TV reported.
The suspect in that case, 17-year-old Alarenta Waters, is currently being sought by authorities, WZTV reported. Waters is accused of opening fire on a car in which Johnson was riding, WSMV reported. Johnson and Waters’ sister was allegedly involved in a fight, according to the television station.
The hearse was parked in front of the church with its rear door open, and people were filing out of the church when shots were fired, Aaron told reporters.
An 18-year-old woman sustained a bullet wound to her leg, while a 25-year-old man was shot in the pelvis, Aaron said. Neither injury was considered to be life-threatening, according to WKRN.
“This was just a brazen shooting. These persons had no regard for human life at all,” Aaron said, according to WKRN. “I mean, the funeral service was over, the hearse was parked in front, the rear door to the hearse was open, and persons had begun to come out of the church when this car goes by and the shots were fired.”
Dwayne Lewis, the pastor of New Season Church, was inside the building when gunfire broke out.
“I am truly hurt by the fact that someone would come and be shooting in front of a church, at a funeral,” Lewis told WKRN.
“It’s already difficult for the family to go through something like this, but then on top of that, now you also have this memory that’s attached to a day that’s really a sacred day,” Alexis Lewis, the pastor’s wife who is also the executive director at New Season Church, told the television station.
Johnson was buried later Saturday, WSMV reported.
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