Pastor Shot to Death While Opening His Church for Sunday Services

New Bethany Missionary Church
New Bethany Missionary Church (Image captured May 2016, © 2019 Google)

A Mississippi pastor was gunned down while he was opening his church for Sunday morning services over the weekend.

Police arrested three suspects in the murder of Anthony Finch Longino, who pastored New Bethany Church in Jackson, Mississippi.

Longino was found dead outside his church.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of those who died due to senseless acts of violence today and our continued prayers and support go out to all of the families who have suffered at the hands of senseless violence in this city," Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba says, according to a local news personality.

An NBC affiliate reports 22-year-old Marquez Hamilton confessed to killing Longino Monday at JPD headquarters and has been charged with capital murder. He also confessed that he and his friends had plans to rob him. Three warrants were issued for others involved in the shooting.

"This is a very, very sad day, where a pastor has opened this church up for service and lost his life," says Jackson Police Department Chief James Davis. "It was senseless, but it's in a community, and police cannot do it by ourselves; we need help from the community, to step up. If you know of any individuals in your community that have committed these crimes, don't wait till an individual loses their life."

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