Bay Shore Baptist Church, Bradenton, FL


A Hispanic male, 33 years-old killed his wife, a female neighbor at their home and then drove to Bay Shore Baptist Church and shot the Pastor.


On Thursday, 12/4/14, at 1:20 PM police responded to a man shot at the Bay Shore Baptist Church. On their arrival they found the Pastor lying in the church courtyard deceased. He was shot 4 times in the head. Police were advised by the church’s secretary that there may be more victims at the suspect’s residence.

On arrival at the suspect’s residence they found two more dead victims. One was the suspect’s wife and the other a female neighbor. Cause of death of these two is unknown at this time. The suspect and wife were having family issues and at one time separated. The wife was the church nursery and children’s director. The Pastor was counseling or did in the past counsel the wife or the two regarding their marital problems.

On the day of the murders, the suspect shot his wife and neighbor at the house, then drove to the church and met with the Pastor in his office. According to the church secretary the two went out into the church courtyard where the suspect shot the Pastor. The suspect left the scene and has not been located/arrested, as of this training bulletin.

Lessons learned

  1. A recent study of Pastors revealed that 61% of the Pastors in the study stated they were aware of Domestic Violence or marital disputes within their congregation.
  2. Domestic violence and or marital disputes are the second cause of church violence.
  3. In this case it appears that the Pastor may have been counseling the wife.
  4. The neighbor was a friend and co-worker (outside of the Church) of the wife.
  5. At one time the couple were separated.
  6. The suspect had alcohol and drug problems.
  7. It is unknown, at this time, if the suspect had ever attended or just stopped attending church during the marital dispute.
  8. Without an eye witness to the shooting or the suspect in custody the primary motive for these murders are unknown at this time, but conclusions can be drawn:
    1. The suspect and wife were experiencing domestic violence or martial disputes.
    2. The Pastor may have been counseling the wife.
    3. The suspect may not have agreed with what the Pastor’s advice to the wife.
    4. The suspect may have blamed the Pastor for their marital problems.
    5. Unknown if the neighbor/friend of the wife was in the wrong place at the wrong time or something else.
    6. Church violence does not only occur during church services.
  9. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8 KJV)

Read more: Pastor, Church Employee Among 3 Killed In Bradenton

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