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. trex

    ............Thanks gop led NRA......................killers of Leaders in PRAYER........................

    October 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Paramad

    Hoy Rods sounds just as intelligent as virgin birth,god living on the planet Kolob,white salamanders (MOrmon). Finding treasure by looking in a hat(Joseph Smith) God promising prosperity for believers,and allowing incest (Lot and his daughters) to name just a few stupid ideas that are accepted by the less than skeptical thinkers.
    Besides Hoy Rods sounds more fun!

    October 24, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. G Money

    It appears that a certain segment of this society beleive that the welfare rolls are compromised primarily of minorities. WRONG ! Its long been a known fact that there are more people of European decent on welfare than any other group and that has been that way for a very long time... long before OBAMA .....

    October 24, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Skip

    Way to go CNN! That's not the correct picture of the church.

    October 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ann

    It's amazing how these comments run wild. A man is dead, we really don't know why and they end it with a critique of Rev. Dollar preaching style. If ever "Lord have mercy" should be invoked, it is now. Some of you people need a reality check.

    October 24, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • cedar rapids

      "Some of you people need a reality check"

      ironic that on an article that talks about the prosperity gospel, that someone should claim the posters need a reality check.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |

    What a sad affair. Im going to pray for the man that died and his family. My heart goes out to them.
    Also Im going to still pray for CREFLO DOLLAR'S and his church. All I got to say is that the devil is truly
    busy today! He is everywhere, and that's why we as his saints must stay prayed up and living accordingly to GOD'S

    October 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • cedar rapids

      your father is called toodles? oh wait, sorry, there is a period there, my bad.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Solitairedog

      SO ... not only are you God's daughter but you are also a saint? And in a position to lecture and threaten perfect strangers over the internet. I'm sure you think you have good intentions but I think you are an internet bully.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just Me

      Solitairedog – I am a daughter of God and a saint.....read the bible and you will have proof of what I am saying.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • fritz

      Pssst psst! I need to let you in on a little secret. What they don't tell you in church is that God controls the Devil. The Devil can't do squat without God's permission. That's because God is all powerful. That means more powerful than the Devil. Are you starting to get the picture? ;oD

      October 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      You are a little presumptuous calling yourself a saint. "live according to God's will" you say?.....and how do you know what that is? Religious people never cease to amaze me with their ability to suspend reality; sometimes I wish I could do the same.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yakobi

      I pray some day you will learn correct grammar.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just Me

      fritz – psst....pssst, didn't you know that Satan sits in the midst of the congregation of every church and has caused many to fall away from the will and word of God. THEY ARE CALLED BACKSLIDERS AKA ATHEIST/AGNOSTICS

      The only power that Satan has over someone is the power the one gives Satan? We all have this gift called, FREE WILL, therefore GOD will NOT FORCE anyone to remain in Him if the person doesn't want to like many ATHEISTS have turned their back to GOD.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just Me

      Ian – Well you see to know more the us, so why don't you tell us what EXACTLY does it mean? Oh wait, you don't know.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |

      @ Fritz– God does NOT control satan at all. IF you read your bible and had some understanding– you would understand that satan was once one of God's angels (Lucifer) that got bigger than himself and was cast out of Heaven; thus becoming called "the prince of the power of the air" along with 1/3 of the angels- God gave the Angels free will, just like he gave it to us!!!!

      Read your bible, it will bless you!

      October 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • New Generation

      Actually, YES, according to the theory of Christianity, God does have control over Satan. Proof of this is in the story of Job. When Satan was taking apart Job's world piece-by-piece, he had to ask God's permission. God, in turn allowed him to do those things and whatever Satan wanted except for taking Job's life.

      While you can INFER it from the bible, there is actually no scripture that explains the story of Satan (Lucifer) rising up and being cast out. That's all inferred through other passages. Regardless, Christianity teaches that God is in control of all things. Just because he allows free will does not mean he is not in control–think of "God's Plan." Everything happens in "God's Plan," which means he designed every action and decision. So, according to theory, you do in fact have "Free Will" but God, in his Omniscience knows what decision you will make and knows that that descision is in accordance with the overall "Plan." This delves into Calvanism, which is inescapable when you start to actually examine the theory and beliefs behind Christianity.

      All this to say, yes, God would be able to control Satan. And you just got schooled.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. z666

    Hoodie, Skittles, and Iced Tea were involved in this incident.

    October 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. deshi

    While Muslims are blamed for everything, meanwhile non-Muslims, in the US continue to shoot and kill people like this incident. Is this not terrorism? Terrorizing the church goers, terrorizing the recent salon customers, Clumbine, Virginia Tech etc etc & etc events-who anywhere is not going to feel terror when a gun toting maniac comes around into such public places shooting up people and property. BUddhists slaughtering their fellow muslim citizens, Hindus burning muslims alive in India. I guess Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism are all innocent...let's blame the victims for the violence....the Muslims.

    October 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yawn

      No your right. All religions are to blame.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • fritz

      You are right. Gun toting maniacs come in both flavors. Muslim and non-Muslim. However, it seems that Muslim maniacs are more interested in blowing people up with bombs rather than just shootng them. They can kill more people that way. You see, Muslim maniacs don't care how many people they kill as long as they are non-Muslims. Even if a few of their own get in the way and get killed themselves. It's just the way they are.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just Me

      Atheism = Religion

      Obviously this man was more of a border line Atheist then a true Christian. Oh, and Muslim will always be worse then atheism and any other religion on the face of this earth.

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

      Poor persecuted Muslims, deshi. I feel SO bad for those innocent little lambs that never instigate violence against anyone, much less their own followers. Riiiiiiiiight.......

      October 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. derp

    "There are already several of them. They are called Federal Prisons"

    I guess that explains why federal prisons are chock for of christians, or that the crime rate for christians far exceeds that of atheists.

    October 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • notayankee

      I suspect that most of the "Christians" in prison weren't "saved" or became "true Believers" untill they got in prison and thought it might help them with the parole board. I think Cristianity, "The Ten Commandments" etc are pretty much against any behavior that would get one put into prison. You sure are defensive over your lack of Christianity.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just Me

      I love to see the ignorance of unbelievers!!!

      The WORD OF GOD is preached to the prisons, understand? God's love is reached to the hearts of EVERY HUMAN BEING. LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE A PRISONER OF YOUR OWN SINS AND LIFE, COME OUT AND GIVE GOD A CHANCE TO SAVE YOUR SOUL.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mike

    My prayers goes out to the departed and his family, what a said event indeed.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. n2it

    Glad mah man Dollar wasn't injured. Was gonna send 'em fiddy.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. derp

    II'm waiting for the stupid christians to start with the "see what happens when you remove god from our schools" comments.

    Oh wait, this was at a church. See what happens when you remove god from our churches.

    Dumb christians.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just Me

      See what happens when you leave the presence of God? You end up being deceived by Satan and do ungodly things.


      October 24, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. RBI GUY

    Trying to get a non- christian to understand the real problem behind this trouble, is pointless. Comparing or explaining spiritual matters to someone who is thinking naturally, would be as ignorant as explaining the world of microbes and their existance to someone using a pair of binoculars.. Pointless. And although that instrament is used for viewing, it can't look into that realm of life. So it is with someone who is not looking through the eyes of faith. Not shocked by the overwhelming hate; shocked by Christians who don't understand.. Love anyway. Don't judge. Forgive. We're only here for a season.. make the most of it!!!

    October 24, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Just Me

    Well there you go, Satan seats in the midst of the congregation seeking whom he can devour through fake Christians who are wolves in sheep clothing.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Hide Behind

    @ one linguisticly challange and member of a semitic thinned skinned. and overly sesitve commenter.
    HOY is a word that describes a means of gaining attentio such as "A HOY THERE spelled differebtly inotger places but is Norse and Danish in origin not semitic version. Hot rods especially loud fast ones are. attention getters.
    As there is indeeda group of Hot Rods for jesus I did not slight their name.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yeah, right

      "of a semitic thinned skinned..."??? You sound a tad bit bigoted. I'd be quiet if I were you: you don't want to come of like that do you???

      October 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
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