UPDATE: Man accused of firing at church in court

By Sara Gouedy - bio | email


UPDATE: Jerry Rains was in court on Thursday, where he was arraigned on charges of desecration, carrying a concealed weapon and discharging a firearm in a motor vehicle.

His bond was set at $750,000.


A local man is accused of shooting up a Forest Park church.

Police say Jerry Rains shot The Word of Deliverance Church with about 40 bullets.

It's safe to say there's a mix of emotions at the church. The front door is now boarded up, and inside the church are dozens more bullet holes.

The 40 or so rounds blew holes in metal door frames, shattered glass windows, and punched through dry wall.

It made a loud noise Tuesday night. Investigators say a Forest Park police officer down the street got suspicious, went to the church and found Jerry Rains.

Police say rains had a 9mm handgun, and bullets inside his car. They also say Rains confessed to the shooting.

"It's good that he didn't do it during the day, but it's bad that he did it period," said Ciera Jenison, who works at Robinson Cleaners, across the street from the church. "A lot of people from the church come in, and they even bring in their cards, when they have things at the church they bring that in too."

Jenison says she doesn't understand why anyone would want to shoot up a church. Billie Mack, who lives nearby, can't figure it out either.

"Usually when you go to church you think of peace, and tranquility, and to hear about a shooting is a little bit disturbing," he said.

Word of Deliverance church leader Bishop Bobby Hilton had this to say in a statement: "We thank God no one was injured. We thank the Forest Park police department for their swift action on this case. According to the police, the individual arrested said he is tired of hearing people say "in the name of Jesus." Word of Deliverance will forever praise the glorious name of Jesus Christ."

Damage to this church is estimated at about $5,000 at least. Rains is not a member of Word of Deliverance. Police have not said why he might have chosen this church.