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Police: Parishioners tackle gunman after church shooting

By the CNN Wire Staff
The gunman shot two people at a church, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.
The gunman shot two people at a church, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.
  • NEW: The suspect specifically targets church clergy, police say
  • The man's wife is among the shooting victims
  • Police are working to determine a possible motive
  • The pastor and associate pastor are being treated at a Lakeland hospital

(CNN) -- Parishioners at a Lakeland, Florida, church tackled a gunman who allegedly shot the pastor and associate pastor on Sunday, holding the suspect until police arrived, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.

Jeremiah Fogel, 57, was taken into custody following the incident at the Greater Faith Christian Church, the sheriff's office said in a statement. Fogel is also suspected of shooting and killing his wife at their residence before going to the church, police said.

Fogel walked to the front of the church during a prayer meeting between the morning services and specifically opened fire on church clergy, said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

"Pastor William Boss was shot once in the head," Judd said. "At that time everyone jumped up, and he went over to the left side of the church and shot the assistant minister Carl Stewart three times."

After Fogel opened fire, parishioners Derek Foster and Corey Reid grabbed the gun from him, hit him in the head with a nightstand and held him to the ground, according to Judd.

Boss and Stewart were being treated at Lakeland Regional Medical Center.

Judd said police are trying to determine a motive behind the shooting.

"Obviously there was a conflict with his wife and/or some people in church," Judd said. "We're trying to find out exactly what forced him to go into his killing rage on a Sunday morning."

Authorities received a 911 call regarding a gunman in the church at 9:58 a.m. Sunday, the sheriff's office said.

CNN Radio's Shelby Lin Erdman contributed to this report.