Trinity Ecumenical Parish, in the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, has opened its doors to emergency personnel and law enforcement in the wake of this morning’s shooting of two WDBJ reporters in Moneta. The Right Reverend Mark Bourlakas, Bishop, sent out the following letter to clergy. Since its release, the shooter, former WDBJ reporter Vester Lee Flanagan, who went by the name Bryce Williams, was apprehended and shot himself in Fauquier County, Va. during a police chase and has died.
By now you have heard of the tragic shootings in Moneta. Two are dead and one person is in surgery in critical condition. The shooter has not been found so the schools are on lock down and the entire community is staying inside during a highly anxious time.
Our church, Trinity Ecumenical Parish, is the staging area for emergency personnel, police, fire, and EMS. The congregation is providing hospitality to the service men and women working this developing crisis.
I have been in conversation with The Rev. Philip Bouknight, the Pastor, about how the diocese and I can help. He and I will continue to monitor the developing situation throughout the day. I am alerting our new Diocesan Pastoral Response Team so that we can be ready to assist Philip and the people of Trinity, Moneta, with any pastoral support they might need.
I would ask for you to pray for Philip, for Trinity, for the Moneta community, and the families of all those impacted by this violence, and to be open and prepared to provide some pastoral care and/or assistance if I need to call on you.
Local, regional and national news outlets including The Roanoke Times are carrying continuing coverage of the story.