Ellicott CIty church shooting: Diocese members forgive shooter
There wasn't enough room inside St. John's Parish in Ellicott City on Thursday for the more than 400 mourners who came to say goodbye to Brenda Brewington.
Brewington, the 58-year-old mother of two who was one of the two people shot and killed on May 3 at the Howard County church, would have celebrated her 25th wedding anniversary soon. And while parishioners prepared themselves to mourn their loss, they're channeling energy into something else - forgiveness for the man who shot her.
In fact, church officials say that they have forgiven 56-year-old Douglas Franklin Jones for shooting Brewington, a church secretary, and Rev. Mary Marguerite-Kohn, the church's co-rector. The Episcopal Diocese even says they've offered to pay for his funeral.
"He was there to get food," Sharon Tillman of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland said. "We don't know what happened to make him pull the trigger."
Police say that Jones, who was homeless, went to St. Peter's Episcopal Church that day to visit the foot pantry before he shot and killed the two women.
Mourners were reminded at Brewington's memorial that both victims devoted their lives to helping others, and at St. Peter's, they will continue that mission.
"We will continue to minister to those who need help and are less fortunate," Craig Stuart-Paul, the warden at St. Peters, said. "We're not going to operate behind bulletproof glass."