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UPDATE: Lake Charles Pastor Ronald Harris Shot and Killed While Preaching, Reason Unknown

Pastor Ronald J. Harris
Pastor Ronald J. Harris, Sr. (

The pastor of Tabernacle of Praise Worship Center on Deshotel Lane was shot and killed Friday night in the middle of church services, and the motive for the killing remains unknown at this hour.

Woodrow Karey, Jr.
Woodrow Karey, Jr. (Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office)

At abut 8:20 p.m., Pastor Ronald J. Harris, Sr., was in the middle of preaching, according to the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, when Woodrow Karey Jr., 53, of Lake Charles, walked in with a shotgun. Karey allegedly shot him once as he walked into the full church and then walked up to Harris and shot him again at point-blank range. Harris was pronounced dead at the scene.  He was shot in front of 65 church members, including his wife.

While Karey was a former member of the church, it’s still unclear what issues he may have had with Harris, seeing as he left the church several years ago.

Karey then fled on foot, but later called the sheriff’s office and turned himself in without incident. He directed deputies to the site where he’d discarded the murder weapon.   Deputies also recovered a .22 pistol. Karey has no criminal history.

Karey is being held on a $1 million bond on second-degree murder charges.

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