A Tennessee pastor, his 16-year-old stepdaughter and his stepdaughter’s biological father were all killed in a domestic shooting incident that occurred on January 3.
The pastor, Kenneth Cook, died on Saturday, January 8, the stepdaughter, Teagan Welch, died on Thursday, January 6, and Tegan’s biological father, Christopher Ray Welch, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The incident is still under investigation, but Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office told WVLT News that the incident occurred during a custody drop-off between Mr. Welch and Teagan’s mother.
Cook was the pastor of Mosheim Church of God in Tennessee. He began working at the church in June 2018.
“Mr. Cook was a great man,” Jeff Hale, a friend and church member, told WJHL. “Anything that you needed, he would drop everything to come and help you. He never met a stranger. He was a leader in the church; we loved that man.
“I know he was in the Army, and his wife was in the Air Force. That makes him an upstanding person. We’ve got to respect people who serve in our military,” Hale added.
Cook, his wife, Shannon, and Tegan’s father are all veterans.
According to an obituary on the IVIE Funeral Home website, Cook joined the U.S. Army in 1992. He was a member of the “2nd Battalion, 3rd group Special Forces as a demolition/engineer sergeant.” Cook, who was deployed to Bosnia several times between 1998 and 1999, also served as a Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat Instructor. After serving in the military, he worked as a federal agent for Homeland Security and a lead training specialist for the Office of Secure Transportation.
According to News 5, Teagan, an 11th-grade student at Greeneville High School, was a member of the Pride of the Greene Devils Band and the GHS Bowling Team.
The Christian Post reports that Shannon, Cook’s wife, survived the shooting.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Douglas Sacha
Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has written on her blog since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.