Mar 192010

KOMO News 4.

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — A woman has died following a shooting at a local church late Wednesday afternoon.  Police spokesman Ray Bunk said the woman and her husband were attending a counseling session at the Calvary Lutheran Church at 2415 S. 320th St. when the man pulled out a gun and shot her several times just before 6 p.m.  Bunk said it wasn’t immediately clear whether the shooting took place during or just after the counseling session, but the suspected shooter called 911 afterward and waited for police and medics to arrive.  “We’re unsure how many witnesses we have,” Bunk said. “Right now, (we don’t know) how many were in the room or even in the area. We’re identifying and interviewing all those witnesses.  “The 38-year-old Lakewood woman was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where she died. Her name has not been released.  The 42-year-old Lakewood man has been taken into custody.

Members of the congregation gathering for a scheduled soup supper, a Lenten tradition on Wednesdays, learned of the tragedy as they arrived at the church.  Many grew teary-eyed over the incident at their place of worship.  “It was really scary to drive up and not know…we knew everybody was getting ready for the soup supper,” said Sandra Cook.  Church members said a daycare inside the church was operating at the time of the shooting, sending parents on a frantic search for their little ones.  “The church is a place of hope, and to someone driven to this degree, this extreme…we just pray for everybody that was inside the building that was connected with this thing,” said Stan Stenersen.

Yet another church shooting has taken place, this time during a counseling session.  Church security isn’t just for church on Saturdays and Sundays.  Church security is needed for all events that may take place at the church or an off site event.  As violence continues to escalate in churches of all faiths, a complete and comprehensive church security plan must be implemented to train church administrators, counselors, and staff on warning signs of imminent violence and to have some kind of a response plan in place should any amount of violence unfold right in front of you or your church members, and to mitigate other church emergencies that arise.

Church security ministry teams are not just for the physical security of the church and its members.  They are an integral part of the day to day operations of any size church gathering.  Church security team ministry members are part of the parking lot crews, door greeters, children’s wing, ushers, and building maintenance personnel to name a few.  Whatever the incident, large or small, the security ministry team facilitates the mitigation of the emergency, protects the children’s wing and congregation, provides crowd control and emergency medical services (etc) until the professionals arrive.

If you have any questions about how to implement a church security team ministry, need refresher training for an existing church security team, or you want to learn more about church security training, feel free to call or email Gideon Protective Services for a free, confidential consultation.  See what Gideon can do for you.  Check us out at or our blog at  Find out the many benefits to having a church security ministry team that benefit the church, church administrators, staff, and the congregation.