Police in Tennessee have charged a 15-year-old with murder after the teen allegedly shot down a pastor in a carjacking at her home earlier this week.
Rev. Autura Eason-Williams, a pastor at Capleville United Methodist Church in Tennessee, was killed Monday outside her home. She was 52.
According to The Christian Post, Eason-Williams was also the district superintendent of the Metro District in the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Annual Conference.
The 15-year-old boy suspected in the shooting has been charged with first-degree murder, murder in the perpetration of a robbery, carjacking, especially aggravated robbery and employment of a firearm during a dangerous felony.
A 16-year-old was also arrested and is suspected of being an accomplice in the crime. He was charged with theft of property valued between $2,500 to $10,000.
“Incidents like these should make everyone have sleepless nights,” Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis said during a Tuesday afternoon news conference at the Raines police precinct, Action News 5 reports. “It should make everyone have feelings of hurt and pain.”
Memphis Theological Seminary President Jody Hill said in a statement on Facebook that Eason-Williams was a graduate of the school.
“She was a wife, mother, and a devoted friend to many. She led Formation classes at MTS and Signposts groups for the Center for Faith and Imagination. We join so many of you in shock and pain. Autura was a real light and a well of deep care,” Hill said.
“Personally, I saw in her the spiritual gift of hospitality. Autura was eager to embrace all of God’s children with a warm smile, gentle hug, or encouraging word. We grieve her loss and this senseless violence.”
United Methodist Foundation for the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences field representative David Perry called Eason-Williams a “dear friend.”
“Autura’s presence and leadership in Methodist circles have been exemplary. … Her leadership was outstanding as a pastor, as a Board Chair, and as a District Superintendent. Autura was strong in her convictions but loving in the face of disagreement, gentle in her relationships, and firm in her faith. Her presence and her faithful walk with Jesus made a difference for so many of us. Now, we share the shock and grief of the violence that ended her walk in this life.”
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.