A church elder in Alabama whose wife was a visiting speaker at another church fatally shot her after she’d finished a sermon, then led authorities on a brief car chase that ended with him taking his own life.
Alisha Woodard was speaking at the True Cornerstone Church in Mobile, Alabama on Feb. 21 when a heated exchange with her husband outside turned violent, WPMI reports. Woodard and her husband Ulysses Woodard, who was the pastor at the True Word of Deliverance Church of God in Prichard, Alabama, were visiting True Cornerstone so that Alisha Woodard could speak to the congregation, but it was after she was done preaching and everyone was in the parking lot that things took a turn. True Cornerstone pastor Derek Scott Gandy told WPMI that the couple got into an argument outside that culminated in Ulysses Woodard taking out his gun and shooting his wife in full view of witnesses that included children.
After police responded to the scene, they found Alisha Woodard on the ground with an apparent gunshot wound, the Mobile Police Department confirmed in a statement that does not identify the Woodards by name. Ulysses Woodard fled the area in his car when authorities arrived, resulting in a chase that ended with Ulysses returning to the location of the shooting; he then fired a shot at himself, and officers fired at the vehicle, striking his car’s bumper, police said.
Woodard reportedly then shot himself again, mortally wounding himself, before reportedly crashing his car into the church.
“The car went right into the door. All of that was destroyed, and it was just rubber burning. I thought the church was on fire,” Gandy told WPMI.
While Ulysses was pronounced dead the scene of the crime, Alisha, who sustained grave injuries, was taken to a local hospital. She is expected to recover despite serious injuries, according to police.
Church members are working to repair the building after the crash, which damaged numerous walls, and some are pursuing counseling after witnessing the violent ordeal, WPMI reports.
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