2 shot dead in front of Chicago church during Sunday morning service
By Jennifer Cruz
Crime scene tape marks off an area around Friendship Baptist Church as a man and two young girls stand nearby. (Photo: Alyssa Pointer / Chicago Tribune)
Two men were shot and killed as they prepared to enter a Sunday morning worship service at a church in the South Austin area of Chicago.
The victims were identified as Emmanuel Fleming, 34, and Michael Swift, 46. Authorities believe Fleming was the intended target and Swift, who was a visitor to the church that morning, an innocent bystander.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Fleming recently started attending the church as part of an effort to “turn over a new leaf.” Fleming was an usher for the church and his three young children, all of whom were present at the time their father was killed, were baptized there.
“There should be a sanctuary from violence, and I believe that the church should be one of those sanctuaries,” said Rev. Reginald Bachus, who pastors at Friendship Baptist Church, where the shooting occurred.
“It’s time for us to make a change in our city,” Bachus added.
Chicago Police Cmdr. Dwayne Betts echoed a similar sentiment, saying, “When this cycle of violence reaches the doorsteps of a church, we are really in