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. Starr91

    R.I.P Cousin Greg You Are In A Better Place Now .....

    October 24, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Steven Harnack

    I don't know why CNN even allows crap like this to post unless it's to remind us that we are surrounded by ignorance, but that is something that is all too obvious without having to see it here.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. IvanLibya

    Oh the irony! And I am not a "religion hater", I'm a common sense lover! If your "god" existed, wouldn't THAT have been the perfect time to perform a little "heavenly" intervention?

    October 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sidewinder

      Unless organized religion is the true satan...then by all means, kill each other off fast as you can

      October 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Derrick

    Christian terrorists! Killing in a religious building in the name of religion. What backward people living in medieval times. Probably white too. Do a sweep of the country, find anyone that remotely looks like them, who may have given their family money in the past, close any businesses where they may have bought items from, and send them to Guantanamo for an indefinite period of time without a trial and start a war with every country that contains white Christians because this needs to stopped now!

    October 24, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Hogarth

    It's god's will.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Atheist Hunter

    The family is crying but the Heavens are rejoicing because he is home, alive and well! No better way to exit than in the act of praying to the Father and leading others in prayer!

    October 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt houston

      Continue living your beliefs and dreams if it make you feel safe and happy. Meanwhile, back on Earth, a family is mourning and have to pay for funeral costs. Nice.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Amniculi

    Where was his God when he was being shot? Why worship a deity that doesn't even offer protection in his own house?

    October 24, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • sean

      Study religion and you will find the answer. The first minister you ask will be able to explain it to you.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • The truth

      When you are called you are called. Doesn't matter where at, but if your life is lined up with the WORD you have nothing to fear. If you knew and read the Bible they would slain people in temples. So before you make a comment please get your facts stright!!

      October 24, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chat Pata

      It was God's will. I case you do not know, God is a very sadistic being, and like his worshippers to kill and get killed. He even got his own son tortured and killed. Read the bible, God is the source of all evil in this world.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Exactly Amniculi! Exactly! Magic daddy in the sky was sure out to lunch on this one. Oh, WAIT, he only resides in the minds of the deluded!

      October 24, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alesandra

      It's ok. You don't have to believe in GOD. He loves and believes in YOU. He will be there when you need him, bringing love and happiness. He will be there to ease your suffering. GOD loves you.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris hogan

      It's interesting that when a volunteer for a gay rights group shot a security guard in the arm at the "Family Research Council", a loud smear campaign was organized claiming that gay people are the ones who are "hateful", but nobody is calling Christians hateful because one attacked one of their own. Plus, there are many gay people who ARE Christian, so it isn't fair to paint this as a gay vs Christian fight. There are good people and bad people in any group, period.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Pedro Gomez

    I think it was black on black crime. But they should do it in the back alley and not at church. Maybe they had been throwing dice and one owed the other some money.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chat Pata

      How about a Christian on Christian crime?

      October 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • nice

      LOL racism is hilarious

      October 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Laquanda

    He was my homie. We rode in our hoopdies while listin to tha man. Word.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Pam Tomlinson

    How does this somehow taint Mr. Dollar? That's like saying if somebody robbed a bank, it puts a dark cloud over the bank president and he's obviously somehow guilty.... Has anyone passing judgement on him EVER listened to him speak? I have nothing but the highest respect for Mr. Dollar and consider him the best Biblical teacher I have ever heard.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chat Pata

      Because Mr. Dollar has previously been convicted of violent crimes, one of them against his own daughter.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mark CA

    Um, "Atheist Hunter," would "the Heavens" not be rejoicing if he'd lived? If they "are rejoicing" since he was murdered, then why don't the Heavens just kill everyone and bring them all home, so they can be alive and well there? Lest anyone get all crazy on me, I assure you I am not advocating that everyone, or all or any Christians, be killed. I simply don't get this belief system. It is no wonder so many in our society simply do not believe in provable facts and science - such things are contrary to their otherworldly beliefs.

    Funny thing is, I grew up brainwashed well into my teens with this sort of thinking. Now I'm okay, sort of. It's been a long path.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      I too was fortunate enough to escape the brainwashing of my youth and find the path to reason, science, and decency. Nice to hear from one of my fellow travelers.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Teanna

    Rest in peace my brother my man. May you be livin large in the hereafter.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ffacts

    more black on black crime. happens every hour of everyday

    October 24, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chat Pata

      How about a faithful on faithful crime? They kill every minute in some part of the world in the name of God.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Nate

    Greg McDowell was a volunteer prayer leader. A very good Christian. A very good, kind person. He was leading a prayer when he went to see GOD. Please pray for him, his family, and his loved ones. May GOD help you all in this time of sadness.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alesandra


      October 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Which "GOD" did you have in mind? There have been so many... what if he was praying to the wrong "God" ???

      October 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Paramad

    Yes it is sad a man is dead for what ever reason he was killed whether it was a difference in religious dogma or something unrelated to the church. Why is this a news item? People are shot everyday its just not supposed to happen in church. Bad publicity for that mega church but creflo dollar will cash in on it you can bet.
    Where does it say in the bible that god wants you to be rich?

    October 24, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
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