Two Christians Shot Outside Chicago Church

Men Shot Chicago Church @chicagotribune

As the bloodletting in Chicago continues to spin out of control, it appears that not even church folk are spared the mayhem after two worshippers were gunned down outside a church last Sunday.

Emmanuel Fleming, 34, and Michael Swift, 46, were shot Sunday on the steps of the Friendship Baptist Church in Chicago’s South Austin neighborhood, Fox News reported on Tuesday.

The shooting could have been worse. As the gunmen opened fire, Fleming was guiding several small children through the sanctuary’s doors.

Rev. Reginald Bachus was shocked by the incident but noted that the children were not harmed.

“They were on their way up the steps to the church, and two gentlemen ran up from Jackson [Boulevard] and basically unloaded on them,” Bachus told the Chicago Tribune. “It’s just hard for me to believe that something like this could happen on a Sunday morning.”

While the children were safe, both men lost their lives in the hail of bullets on the steps of the church.

Fleming, a church usher, was hailed as a hero for yelling out for everyone to hit the ground when the shooting began. There were as many as 100 worshippers inside the church, according to Rev. Bachus.

“The pastor was just about to get up, and we heard about seven shots — bang-bang-bang bang,” a worshipper told the Tribune. “Everyone hit the floor, even the kids. It’s a shame the kids know how to hit the floor like that, but it’s a good thing they did.”

Chicago police said the gunmen escaped in a gray or silver SUV. No suspects have been identified.

The deaths of these churchmen is added to the growing number of shootings in the Windy City, a number that seems guaranteed to surpass last year’s record-setting total of over 700 murders.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.


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