A shooting broke out on Saturday afternoon outside of a Florida church, leading to the death of two people and the injury of two others.
According to NBC News, around 2:30 pm Saturday, a 15-year-old boy and 47-year-old man were killed when gunfire broke out following a funeral service held at Victory City Church in Riviera Beach.
A woman also sustained a gunshot wound and was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
The identities of the shooter(s)and the teenage victim have not been released, but the 47-year-old victim has been identified as Royce Freeman.
According to police, "This shooting was not a random act of violence. While the motive for the shooting is still being investigated, it is believed it was a result of a dispute between relatives of the deceased whose funeral had been held."
Victory City Church released a statement on Facebook noting that church members were not involved in the shooting and that it did not occur inside of the church but instead across the street. Still, the church congregation is mourning the loss of "two young black men to a senseless shooting."
The church's senior pastor, Tywuante D. Lupoe, also took to Facebook Saturday night to add some clarity to the situation as well as to stress that this was not a church shooting. Lupoe noted that the church was aware of the possibility of violence breaking out at the funeral. As such, he noted that the church informed their security team – some of whom were armed – as well as enlisted the help of Riviera Beach police officers for the duration of the funeral service. According to Lupoe, a fight – which would escalate into the shooting – occurred after most of the armed security had left.
NBC News reports that police are still investigating the shooting. At the time of this writing, no arrests have been made.
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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 kaylamariekoslosky.blogspot.com since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.