It was a black Sunday in Amasiri, Afikpo North local government area of Ebonyi State, as a man shot dead a 50-year-old woman in front of a new generation church in the area.
The police have confirmed the incident and said a suspect was in its custody.
Chinyere Agwu, a mother of seven, was at the Solution Ground International Church, Amasiri, in the company of two other women for an intercessory prayer at about 5 a.m. when she was shot by the gunman.
On approaching the church door, the women were said to have spotted a man they identified as Paul with their torchlight.
He was holding something in his hands which they could not see very well.
As they made to enter the church, he began shooting sporadically in their direction.
Mrs Agwu was hit by some bullets while a bullet grazed the shoulder of another woman before the gunman took to his heels.
The general overseer of the church, Michael Uche, told PREMIUM TIMES that he was alerted by the cry of his mother who was one of the victims. He said she ran home after the gun attack.
Mr Uche said he immediately went to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad at Amasiri Junction in the area to report the matter.
An assistant pastor in the church, Emmanuel Onyiagha, said they tried to rescue two of the victims while they awaited the arrival of the police.
Mr Onyiagha said Mrs Agwu was rushed to a hospital where she was discovered to have suffered multiple bullet wounds before she died.
The police spokesperson in the state, Loveth Odah, said the suspect is in police custody while the body of the deceased is in a mortuary.
“In front of one church – Solution Ground, two women were going to the church for a prayer session they called intercession prayer between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m.
“According to the two women that saw Paul when they were coming to the church, they said he ran and hid somewhere. Paul has been arrested by us and he is claiming that he is innocent. But the deceased was calling Paul to the extent of calling his surname before she gave up,” Ms Odah.
“The bullet wound in her was so much that her abdomen and that of her chest including her breast was badly affected with bullet wounds and because of that, she could not survive.
“I tried to find out from the pastor what could be the problem between Paul and the deceased and he said it was not the deceased that was Paul’s target.
“He said the person Paul was targeting was his (pastor’s) mother. He said the mother has a previous problem with the suspect ’s wife. Right now, the investigation is on, at the end of the investigation, we should be able to know what has happened.”