Police Say They Are Looking Into An 81-Year-Old Pastor’s Fatal Gunshot

Police Say They Are Looking Into An 81-Year-Old Pastor's Fatal Gunshot
Police Say They Are Looking Into An 81-Year-Old Pastor's Fatal Gunshot

Police say they are investigating the fatal shooting of an 81-year-old preacher.

The Topeka Police Department in Kansas says they are still looking into the shooting death of 81-year-old Arizona Pastor Donald Woolridge while he was recently visiting his family, in spite of some reports claiming that he may have been killed in self-defense.

Just after 7:30 p.m. on October 24, according to the Topeka Police Department, police were dispatched to the 3300 block of SE Fremont St. in response to a shooting. They discovered Woolridge, the pastor of Florence, Arizona’s Union Baptist Church, deceased at the site.

One person was detained by the police for interrogation but later released. There were no other reported suspects. Self-defense was apparently a theory being investigated by investigators, according to local media.

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According to The Pinal Central Newspaper, Woolridge frequently traveled to Topeka to assist a relative who was having legal issues.

Police Say They Are Looking Into An 81-Year-Old Pastor’s Fatal Gunshot

The Christian Post reported that Detective Jesse Sherer of the Topeka Police Department informed The Christian Post that the matter was still under investigation when asked about the claim that Woolridge may have been killed in self-defense.

Sherer told CP, “What I can tell you is that it’s an ongoing investigation.” This morning, I completed two search warrants. In this case, I’m still looking for proof. Since I don’t yet know all the facts, I can’t tell you what the outcome will be in the end.

One of Woolridge’s Arizona neighbors, Steven Salazar, told AZ Family that the pastor’s murder was “senseless.”

It wasn’t supposed to happen. Salazar said, “What a nice man he was.”

After the pastor left his Arizona home to travel to Kansas to see family, his wife, Vallarie, told the news source that she did not anticipate receiving a call informing her of her husband’s passing.

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When Vallarie Woolridge was asked how she heard that her husband of more than 40 years had passed away, she answered, “If somebody is sick and you’re expecting them to go, you kind of prepare for it.”

She told the CBS News affiliate, “It’s never easy, but for it to be so abrupt and happen like that, it’s extremely different. He simply had a heart that loved people, but he also had a heart that loved God first. He acted as a helper to others, she said.

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