Monday May 7, 2012

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. -- Police in Maryland say an Episcopal priest wounded when a gunman opened fire at her church has died.

Howard County Police announced Sunday that the Rev. Mary-Marguerite Kohn, 62, was pronounced dead at Shock Trauma on Saturday night. She was co-rector of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Ellicott City. The church had said earlier that she was on life support to assist her family's intentions to donate her organs. Her body was taken to the medical examiner for autopsy.

Kohn served as the interim priest associate at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Pittsfield in the early 2000s. She served between the Rev. Michael Povey and the Rev. Jim Dannals.

Police say Douglas Jones, a homeless man, shot Kohn and church secretary Brenda Brewington, on Thursday after he was turned away from the church's food bank. Jones had been told by the church that, pursuant to church policy, he would have to limit his visits to the pantry in order to preserve supplies.

Police said they found Brewington and Kohn in a church office on Thursday. Both were suffering from gunshot wounds.

Jones then killed himself in the woods where he lived nearby. Brewington was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Rev. Hannah An derson, the present rector of Pittsfield's St. Stephens, said she had been notified on Sunday morning of Kohn's passing.

"It's very difficult," said Anderson of Kohn's death.

On Sunday evening, the church hosted a vigil for Kohn. Originally, the vigil was to be a prayer service for Kohn's recovery. In the wake of Sunday's news, Anderson said the vigil would be one of prayers for Kohn's family and the families of the other victims, as well as all victims of violence.

St. Peter's Episcopal Church announced that it has planned a service for Kohn on Tuesday in Baltimore at the Cathedral of the Incarnation.

Kohn was listed as an affiliate faculty member at the Loyola Graduate School of Pastoral Counseling. Part of her studies involved researching the needs of the survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

Donations in memory of Kohn may be made to St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 3695 Rogers Ave., Ellicot City, MD 21043.