Stray bullets hit Wilson church with children inside, 17-year-old charged

WILSON, N.C. (WTVD) -- A 17-year-old was arrested and accused of a shooting near a Wilson church on Wednesday afternoon.

According to Wilson Police Department, witnesses said just after 4 p.m. they heard several gunshots outside St. Mark's Episcopal Church.

Officers found that the church had been hit by several stray bullets. Father Philip Bryum, a priest at the church, said children were inside the building for an after-school program at the time.

"Everyone just hit the floor," Bryum said.

No one was injured, but Bryum said the situation rattled him and the children. He said one child expressed trepidation about coming back to the church.

"I said, 'sweetheart, your daddy loves you and he's going to look out for you. If he doesn't want you to come right now, it's alright,"' Bryum said.

Investigators arrested a 17-year-old in connection with the shooting and charged them with shooting into an occupied building. The teenager was given a $150,000 secured bond.

Investigators said the church was not targeted in the shooting, but Bryum said the shooting still rattled his community.

"It does hurt your feelings, sort of," Bryum said. "But so grateful nobody was hurt."

Wilson Police Department said more arrests are expected in connection to this shooting.

SEE MORE | 5-year-old boy accidentally shot in Wilson; investigation underway

Anyone with information is asked to call the Wilson Police Department a (252) 399-2323 or Crime Stoppers at (252) 243-2255.
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