Pastor working to increase security after shots fired during basketball game at Ohio City church

Pastor working to increase security after shots fired during basketball game at Ohio City church

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - It was a scary situation last Tuesday when someone brought a gun inside the rec center of St. Paul’s Community Church in Ohio City during a basketball game.

Douglas Horner has been the pastor at St. Paul’s for the past 16 years, and this is the third time gun violence has made its way into his house of worship.

“This happened so close and then all the sudden there’s cop cars and people realize there’s something going on, and the sense of anxiety and fear kind of put everybody on edge,” said Pastor Horner.

The only sounds we heard at the church Wednesday were the dribbling of a basketball and kids sneakers skidding across the court, but last Tuesday it was the horrifying sound of gunshots that sent everyone into a panic and running for their lives.

“Some people on the court that tempers flared, they got a little angry,” explained Pastor Horner. “Apparently, somebody left and went to their car, got a gun and came back in here and chase somebody out the door of the gym, and across our backyard and everybody scattered.”

Pastor Horner says a man fired two shots in the church’s backyard.

"I pulled out my phone,” the Pastor said. “I turned the light on, I was looking around and we walked across, and two shell casing were right in the middle."

No one was hurt, but police say the gunman is still roaming the streets.

"The police came, and nobody knew who it was because snitches get stitches,” said Horner.

To help protect people who come to the church, they are raising money to buy cameras and increase security.

Pastor Horner says, no matter what, his church will continue to be a safe space for kids and young adults to play ball.

"These young people need to see that there's adults that are sticking up for them and teaching them the values we can all live by without needing to carry heat around with you or carry a weapon around with you because you're scared of everybody,” Horner said.

If you’d like to donate to help the church with security, visit stpaulscleveland.com/donate

If you have any information on the shooting, contact police.

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