Volunteer killed at Creflo Dollar's Georgia megachurch, police say
Police are looking for a gunman after the shooting at the Georgia megachurch of televangelist Creflo Dollar.
October 24th, 2012
04:27 PM ET

Volunteer killed at Creflo Dollar's Georgia megachurch, police say

Editor's note: A former employee of televangelist Creflo Dollar's Atlanta-area megachurch is suspected of fatally shooting one of the church's volunteer staff members as the volunteer was leading a prayer service there Wednesday morning, police say. The suspect, Floyd Palmer, 52, was arrested hours later at an Atlanta mall, the U.S. Marshals Service told CNN. Below are developments as they come in; for more on the shooting and Dollar's church, check out this story, and CNN affiliates WXIA, WSB and WGCL.

[Updated at 4:27 p.m. ET] The suspect in the shooting, Floyd Palmer, 52, was arrested Wednesday afternoon at Atlanta's Lenox Square mall, the U.S. Marshals Service says.

Earlier, police said Palmer was an former employee of World Changers Church International in College Park, Georgia, where the shooting happened Wednesday morning during a prayer service.

Floyd Palmer

[Updated at 12:39 p.m. ET] The man who died was a volunteer staff member who was leading a prayer service for about 20 people at the church when he was shot, and investigators believe the gunman was a former church member and facilities maintenance employee, police said.

The suspect, Floyd Palmer, 52, is on the loose, according to police. The shooting happened at World Changers Church International in College Park, Georgia, where Palmer worked until August, authorities said.

Police said the victim was 39, but his name hasn't been released. A police spokeswoman said she didn't know whether the victim was targeted specifically, and she didn't know whether Palmer knew the victim.

Police, citing witnesses, said Palmer entered the church calmly, shot the victim, and calmly left the building.

[Updated at 11:37 a.m. ET] A man has died after being shot Wednesday morning at the suburban Atlanta megachurch of televangelist pastor Creflo Dollar, a Fulton County Police Department spokeswoman says.

The shooter is on the loose, Fulton County police Cpl. Kay Lester added. The victim's identity hasn't been released.

[Posted at 11:04 a.m. ET] At least one person was shot Wednesday morning at the suburban Atlanta megachurch of pastor Creflo Dollar, and police are looking for the gunman, authorities say.

The shooting happened at a chapel in the World Changers Church International in College Park, Georgia, a police spokeswoman told CNN. CPR was being performed on the victim, whose identity wasn't immediately released, CNN affiliate WXIA reported.

The church does have a morning service, but Fulton County police Cpl. Kay Lester said she didn't know whether the service was in progress at the time of the shooting.

The church claims about 30,000 members. Dollar is a high-profile preacher of the Prosperity Gospel, whose message in part is that God promised generosity in this life and that believers can claim it.

Since he started his ministry in an elementary school cafeteria in 1986, Dollar has received praise and criticism. Supporters say he has preached a message that's financially empowered his parishioners and challenged the idea that Christians should be ashamed to be rich. Critics call him "Cash-Flow Dollar" and say his message perverts the Gospel.

Dollar produces a "Changing Your World" TV program that is shown on various cable and satellite TV networks.

soundoff (375 Responses)
  1. dadaae

    What were 20 people doing at a prayer service on a Wednesday morning... lazy leeches should be at work

    October 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • compassmd

      Because everyone works a 9-5 job, right dadaee?

      What about doctors and nurses who work at the ER for the night shift? EMTs off their 24 hour shift? Military on leave? Night security guards? Believing the world operates on a 9-5 schedule is an awfully naive thing to demonstrate.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • TSan

      Are you serious? The only comment you can come up with is why these people weren't at work. Someone lost their life! Perhaps you should have offered a prayer instead of an insensitive comment.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chat Pata

      Because they worship, God provides them with the food and they do not need to work. It is called welfare.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sagebrush Shorty

    Creflo Dollar? What an appropriate name.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      Where have you been?

      October 24, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chat Pata

      Mega Churches have always been about Dollar. Never knew?

      October 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Hide Behind

    I want to start a Church called Hoy Rods for Jesus.
    It will build cars that are ungodly fast, cost ungodly amounts of money but once they hit the streets I bet one would hear "JESUS"; " FOR CHRIST SAKE" AND " JESUS CHRIST", or " GOD DAMN YOU" yelled out in public more than we do now.
    I wonder if my profits would be tax frree as some 450 milllion dollars of other churches yearly incomes are?

    October 24, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • no

      Hoy Rods, huh? Brilliant is something you are not.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. obmalarkey

    satan is the spirit that killed Jesus and the spirit that kills each day in places like chicago...read your Bible...and satan is the one who destroys people's lives...

    It is not a person but the spirit behind the person...

    October 24, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark CA

      Hmmmm, Satan. Thank you, Church Lady.

      Funny thing how some of you fundies say that this is the work of Satan, while others say it is all according to God's plan and that "the Heavens are rejoicing" because this victim is now there. Would the heavens rejoice if Satan leads someone to murder an innocent civilian? I thought the heavens and Satan were sort of opposed to each other. One would think the Heavens would be unhappy if Satan prevailed. I guess the Heavens always get to rejoice, while Satan also gets to rejoice because he got what he wanted. .. It's all so confusing.

      Yes, now someone will tell me to read a Bible or talk to a minister. Um, my dad was one. Been there, done that.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chat Pata

      God kills and blames it on Satan. What a pity.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • CP in FL

      Oh I see, the devil made him do it.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • liberty

      Satan did not kill Jesus, Jesus gave up his life vountarily.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ms

    Why did they have to refer to Rev. Dollar as "Cash-Flow Dollar" that has nothing to do with a man life's being taken. Let us pray for the family, God be with them.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • cedar rapids

      because it happened at his church, that is why.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Reverend Lovejoy

    Time to revisit "practice what you preach."

    October 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JonathanL

    According to scriptures Jesus only came to save the Jews. In fact in the first hundred years (from year 0 to 100) you had to convert to Judaism if you were not already a Jew, in order to become a Christian. Since that involved too much paperwork (or stone carved tablets) they finally eliminated that requirement. Also it was the pagan emperors and governments that were mostly responsible for the persecution of Jesus and christians for the first 300 years (an Essene which was the name of a Jewish sect that was not viewed as totally orthodox and was based primarily in Qumran and if you think about it in that language the word we interpret as angel, meant preist, and virgin meant engaged so this is not entirely historically insignificant). It was finally, the Pagan Emperor Constantine, who assembled the Christain Bishops at Nicea in 310 to propose a deal which was that they could become a legalized cult, not subject to official perscution, if they adopted a creed (now known as the Nicean creed) because the bishops beliefs were not consistent enough to convince him they had a central doctrine, and they had to adopt and practice several pagan holidays. Deal was done, hence we have celebrations on the winter solstice and in the spring which include several symbols of fertility. All religious people are probably victims of brainwashing since childhood. I don't hate them but feel sorry for them.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      You are totally full of bovine scat JohnathanL. Go and read the book of Acts.

      Scott

      October 24, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      You really need to read the book of Acts regarding where the early Christians came from, Jews, gentiles or both. I continued on reading you ... ahem ... comment and quickly realized that you are just one more religion hater.

      Scott

      October 24, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glen Constantine

      Jonathan, please do not continue this rediculous vein of idiocy, it is obvious you have never studied the Bible and know only "what you have heard" about Jesus. Please cease confusing the unknown who may listen to you. Before people continue to blame GOD for this remember HE gave us "free will" He does not posess! You would be miserable without it. For those who do not believe remember, Henry could deny the Ford, but the Ford could not deny Henry! I would ratherlive my life believing in GOD and find out He does'nt exist than to not be lieve and find out He does.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ceri

      Thanks for that. More proof that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. You clearly don't REALLY know what you are talking about, you've just picked up a few things on the back of some matchboxes or something.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diane P

      God will give you discerment of ministers.

      October 25, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. CFD

    Ok CNN, why on Earth did it have to be mentioned at the bottom of your blog that he is a prosperity gospel preacher.. what does that have to do with matter being reported.. Unreal how little sideways digs are made takes away from the credibility of the reporting of the facts in the matter at hand .. Unreal

    October 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Repent!

    You, are a sick individual to make fun of a murder, I hope you get exactly what you deserve in return for your hatefulness.

    October 24, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • flvikesfan

      That sounds like a typical Christian comment. Doesn't your big book of fables instruct you to forgive everyone and allow your God to pass judgement. I guess like most Christians that only pertains to you on Sunday.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Solitairedog

      Hate is a two way street and you are right in the middle of it.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • bigot

      and what would that be exactly?

      October 24, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Starr91

      Whose Makin Fun Of His Death Pls Tell Me The Name ....Thats my cousin and i dnt play when it come to family R.I.P Cousin Greg

      October 24, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • fjefnfff

      "Repent!" Get off of CNN. There are only atheists here to begin with and if you can't handle the occasional child then this may not be a place for you. I understand your disgust and share it, but they don't ACTUALLY care.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt houston

      Please explain what you think happened here. Does God exist? Does he actually care for his flock if he does exist? If so, then is He powerless to protect his flock? If He has absolute power, then the reason for this man's death is a mystery as only God knows the purpose. If only God knows the purpose behind this death, then He is irrelevant to human beings.

      So in the end no matter if you believe or don't believe, it doesn't matter... if human beings can never ever know or understand why He lets things happen.

      Is it to punish those naysayers and flush them out on CNN?
      Why waste a life to flush out nonbelievers? Doesn't He already know who is who?
      And round and round you keep on going until the logic drives you insane.

      Condolences to his family.
      But if anyone says, "He was so good that God wanted him immediately..." there's some serious denial going on.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. cedar rapids

    Yay the victim's wife can now praise god that he has made her rich by giving her insurance money. god does move in mysterious ways afterall.

    October 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bravo

    How is a Church that much different from our government? Taking money from their congregation, and after taking their share, re-distributing food and other crap to the leeches in exchange for their souls.

    October 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • MM

      People GIVE money to churches.
      Goverment TAKES money from people.
      BIG difference.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • cedar rapids

      "MM

      People GIVE money to churches.
      Goverment TAKES money from people.
      BIG difference."

      yeah the church has a far better polished racket, but then again they have had longer to perfect it.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • trex

      ......Sure, you Give to the Catholic Church, and exactly what do ya get?.................................Hide the kids,......thats what..............................

      October 24, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sandra

    You have to know God in order to know what He likes and dislikes and what He allows and does not allow. God is still in heaven and He is very much alive and IN CONTROL. Every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. I am always amazed at the comments of those that don't know God commenting about what He should and should not do. GET TO KNOW GOD and my friend you will have enlightment beyond your wildest dreams. We are not puppets that God leads around by a leash...We all have Free wills to choose right and wrong...

    October 24, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • cedar rapids

      "We are not puppets that God leads around by a leash...We all have Free wills to choose right and wrong"

      what about the victims of that free will? did they get to choose? did they have the free will to decide 'you know what, i dont actually feel like getting killed today thanks'.

      not to mention of course that if god knows everything that has, is and will happen then he knows how you will live your life, he knows the choices you will make and your 'free will' is just an illusion with you going through already pre determined motions.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • DUBBYA

      Hey, I've got a stairway to heaven I'd like to sell you.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. FL Teacher

    Why can't he just donate that money to the unemployed?

    October 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hank

      Hi Fl Teacher... I just want to comment on your post. When someone earns their money from any sourse it's their money. What they do with it is up to them. Remember income is relative, what one person thinks is rich, is not someone elses opinon. Who wants to decide how much money is too much? Who do we trust to come up with the amount everyone should have? Besides the dollar family gives more than most people will ever earn in a live time. Praise God for them!!!

      October 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • cedar rapids

      "Besides the dollar family gives more than most people will ever earn in a live time. Praise God for them!!!"

      ....."He has been criticized for his lavish lifestyle as he owns two Rolls-Royces, a private jet, a million dollar home in Atlanta, and a $2.5m home in Manhattan, which he sold for $3.75m in 2012"

      er, yeah, no, lets not

      October 24, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Lewy

    Floyd is on the loose. Shoot first, then ask questions later.

    October 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Hank

    Wow, I've never read one of these blogs before. I put Creflows name in and this is what came up. I found out through a white preacher friend (I'm white as well) that there had been a shotting at Creflow's chruch. I'm a partner with this ministry and I care deeply for Creflow and Taffy. It's shocking to read what people have said here. I will never return to this again. But I wanted to plead the blood of Jesus over all of you. I pray your hearts and minds are opened to the love of God and what Jesus has done for all of you. Jesus loves you no matter what, so nothing has changed for any of you. Jesus loves you period no matter good or bad. Oh, did I say Jesus loves you...lol... My prayers are with the families of both the victims and the shooter. Thank you for reading this. 🙂

    October 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
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