Members of a Colorado church are still in shock and mourning this week after a gunman opened fire, killing a pastor’s mother Sunday afternoon.
According to a witness, shortly after the gunman arrived on the church premises, he took out a gun and opened fire as Pastor DeLono Straham tried to herd his congregation to safety.
“I looked back and saw the gunman just firing … don’t know if he was putting another clip in … don’t know what he was doing … saw him randomly just shooting,” Pastor DeLono of Destiny Center told Fox 31 News.
In the midst of the chaos and commotion, the pastor also saw his mother, Josephine Echols (pictured), bleeding and laying on the sidewalk.
“I ran and checked on her. She had a bullet hole in her face, she was bleeding all over here. Doctors at the hospital say she was shot five times,” he said. Josephine, a nurse, passed away at the Aurora South Medical Center, where she had worked for several years. She was 65.
The gunman was also shot and killed by Pastor DeLono’s cousin, an off-duty police officer. Police are still investigating a possible motive, but have told the family the shooting may have been gang-related, according to the station. The suspect wasn’t a church member and no one knew who he was, the pastor said.
DeLono credited his mother for teaching him to help others.
“She lived to help people. That’s where I learned what I do!