Louisiana police reported that the wife of a man accused of killing a pastor filed rape charges against the preacher two days before he died.
Woodrow Karey, who once worked at late pastor Ronald Harris' church, the Tabernacle of Praise Worship Center, is being charged with opening fire and killing Harris in the middle of a sermon on Friday, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso told the Associated Press. But authorities are now investigating rape charges filed by Karey's wife against Harris two days before the shooting.
During a phone interview on Monday, Mancuso reported that Harris and Karey's wife sent text messages to each other a few days before she filed a formal rape complaint. It is still unclear whether the two engaged in consensual sexual relations, the Sherriff said.
"We're trying to put all the pieces together," Mancuso told AP. He stated that the copy of the rape complaint would not be publicized, since it is a part of the investigation.
Karey reportedly shot Harris during his Friday service in Lake Charles. Members of the congregation that witnessed the shooting reported that a gunman came into the church and started firing a shotgun.
"Karey shot Harris with a shotgun twice - once when he walked in to the church and a second time when Harris fell to the floor and Karey walked up to him and shot him at close range," a spokesperson from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office reported to the Associated Press.
Harris' daughter Talisha said she recalled the shooter hitting a plant with the first bullet.
"I remember my daddy taking off running and he shot him in the back and he fell by my kids trying to run," she stated to KPLC. "He got over him again and shot him again and kind of stood there, I guess to watch him take his last breath."
Karey surrendered minutes after police stormed the church, and showed law enforcement officials where he'd left the shotgun and .22-caliber pistol in the woods not too far away.