Two gunmen kill each other outside Georgia funeral
In addition to the dead, two others were wounded after gunfire erupted just outside the church where a funeral service was held for 19-year-old Ryan Guider.
The gunfire began just after the funeral service for Guider ended. Ironically, the minister of the Victory for World Baptist Church in suburban Atlanta had just finished a sermon on non-violence.
The Atlanta Journal and Constitution
reports one of the dead, Carlos Henderson Jr., 19, was a friend of Guider's. After the service concluded, Henderson got into a fight with some others just outside the church. William Miller, DeKalb County public safety director, said, "This group assaulted him. He managed to get to his car after escaping them. He got a gun. He fired. Don't know if he was trying to fire in self defense. And then someone else got a gun, shot and killed him."
Henderson exchanged gunfire with Deimetrius Heard, 28. Henderson was shot four times while Heard took two bullets. Both men died.
Another man and a 12-year-old girl were also hit. Both have non-life-threatening injuries.
Kenneth Samuel, senior pastor of the Victory for World Baptist Church, is quoted by Associated Press
as saying, "Shots rang out and police locked down the church. I was shocked to hear what happened. I had just finished my eulogy and tried to do the best I could to speak to the many teens about valuing life."
Obviously, some of the mourners were not listening.
Witnesses reported total chaos. CBS Atlanta
quotes Craig Hodge as saying, "Everybody hit the ground. People were running and hitting the ground. Everybody was screaming and hollering and just running."
Tiana Crenshaw applied pressure to Heard's wounds after he screamed for help. She said, "It's traumatizing, but you don't want to stop, but there's nothing else you can do when you look at them and they're not breathing any more."
Guider was shot to death on May 26 and Marcus Ventress, 28, is wanted in connection with his death. It is believed Ventress killed Guider in retaliation for a home invasion. Adrion Bell, spokesman for the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office, told the Atlanta Journal and Constitution
, Guider "burglarized the home of Ventress, stealing jewelry, cash and drugs and punching Ventress' mother.
Ventress is also being sought for aggravated assault. It is alleged he fired shots into an apartment where he believed Guider lived.
Although initial reports said that Ventress was one of the two men shot to death at the funeral, he was not there that day.
Police are still seeking Ventress for Guider's murder. It is not believed anyone else is wanted for the violence outside the church.