(CBS/AP) FOREST HILL, Texas - A North Texas pastor was fatally beaten with an electric guitar Monday after an attacker rammed his car into a church wall and chased the pastor down, police said.
Police in Forest Hill, a suburb of Fort Worth, said they had to use a taser to subdue the unidentified attacker, who died a short time after being taken into custody. Rev. Danny Kirk Sr., the founding pastor of Greater Sweethome Missionary Baptist Church, died shortly after police arrived at the scene.
Forest Hill Police Chief Dan Dennis said the suspect drove his car into a church wall before noon Monday, apparently on purpose. The suspect got out of the car and began to attack the pastor in the parking lot before chasing him into the church. The church secretary hid and called 911.
Police arrived to find the suspect assaulting Kirk with an electric guitar that they believe was already inside the church, Dennis said. An officer used a taser on the suspect, handcuffed him and put him in the back of a patrol car. By then, Kirk had died.
Dennis said the suspect was found unresponsive shortly after being detained and was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Dennis said he didn't know if the suspect knew Kirk, attended the church or why he might have attacked the pastor.
Some church members recalled Kirk as a dedicated minister who also had a bubbly personality and knew all names of the several-hundred members.
"He really was concerned about our souls," said Montoya McNeil, a member for eight years. "You looked forward to being here. ... I'm not asking God why, because I know where he (Kirk) is, but we won't get those big bear hugs and those great sermons anymore."
Former Forest Hill mayor James Gosey said Kirk started the church years ago in a strip mall before building the red-brick church.
Kirk was also an unofficial volunteer chaplain who occasionally counseled members of a local high school football team, Fort Worth school district spokesman Clint Bond said.
"Our hearts are heavy right now," said Reginald Wilson, an associate minister at the church.