The man who police say shot and critically wounded a co-rector and killed another worker at an Ellicott City church last week was angry about being told to limit his visits to the food pantry, church leaders said in a statement on Saturday.
The shootings of the two women have plunged the congregation of St. Peter's Episcopal Church, founded in Howard County in 1842, into mourning. The church has announced a private service for Sunday at 10 a.m.
The statement from the church says a custodian found the victims in an office. "The assailant, a homeless man who was receiving food from St. Peters' pantry on a regular basis, had become belligerent when told that, pursuant to standard policy, the church would have to limit his visits to preserve supplies."
Saturday evening, the co-rector, the Rev. Marguerite Mary Kohn, 62, remained on life support at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. The church said in its statement that the family plans to donate her organs.
St. Peter's warden, Craig Stuart-Paul, described Kohn as "one of the kindest, most giving people I have ever known. She never turned away a person in need, and even in death she is bringing life through the donation of her organs. I just hope that some of her amazing spirit goes along with them."
Killed in the shooting was Brenda Brewington, 59, the church's administrative assistant. Authorities said the women were shot inside an office of the church, located in the 3600 block of Rogers Ave., near Ellicott City's historic downtown.
Police said the shooter was Douglas Franklin Jones, 56, who was found in the woods nearby, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Sherry Llewellyn , the Howard County police spokesman, said Saturday that detectives have no new information on how Jones obtained a firearm.
In the statement, Stuart-Paul said St. Peter's has a long history of "caring for the poor and needy in Howard County" and had supported mill workers in the 1800s in what was then called Ellicott Mills. The church was destroyed by fire in 1939 and rebuilt at is present location in 1940, using burned bricks from the original building.