Even for the leader of the Victory Christian Center, it’s tough to make sense of the mass shooting that occurred in his Lake Butler community last weekend.
“It hasn’t been easy to find words, I’ll be honest with you, because this is the first type like this that has happened in our community," said Pastor Patrick Maxwell. "You don’t get any training like this in seminary or college. This is something I'm learning on the job, how to cope with on the job.”
People in the Lake Butler community joined at Victory Christian Center for a community prayer service Tuesday night. The group sang together and prayed together, trying to find strength in one another to get through the tragedy took the lives of four people and left another one hospitalized.
“In light of what’s happened, I’m very thankful to see how our community has rallied together, and not understanding what’s going on or what’s behind everything, it just really doesn’t matter, they just want to come together and minister to everyone involved,” said Pastor Jason Johns with Lake Butler First Baptist Church.
Pastor Johns said that includes the family of 72-year old Hubert Allen Jr. who detectives say is responsible for the Saturday’s shooting.
Allen is Buffalo Bills Running Back C.J. Spiller’s step-grandfather. Spiller joined in the vigil Tuesday night.
Church members describe Allen, like the men investigators say he shot, as a good man. Natasha Odom told Channel 4 that Allen cooked at her wedding 10 years ago.
“That’s just the kind of man he was. My brother died last year and he gave us $200 on the funeral. My brother didn’t have insurance. I mean, he was just an awesome man, it’s just a shock,” said Odom.
“I don’t know what pushed him to that limit, or point, but I don’t want anyone to look at that one negative experience and define his life over that one experience, but still see him as a positive man,” said Maxwell.