Sunday May 6, 2012

Staff and wire reports

A Maryland Episcopal church where a disgruntled gunman opened fire says a priest who once ministered at a Pittsfield church and was critically wounded remains in critical condition but is not expected to survive.

St. Peter's Episcopal Church released a statement Saturday saying the Rev. Mary-Marguerite Kohn, co-rector of the parish, is on life support at University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore to assist her family's intentions to donate her organs.

Parish Warden Craig Stuart-Paul says the 62-year-old Kohn never turned away a person in need. He says even in death, she is giving life through her organs.

Kohn served as the interim priest associate at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Pittsfield in the early 2000s.

After the shootings in the church, Douglas F. Jones killed himself with a handgun in the woods where he lived near St. Peter's Episcopal Church, located about 14 miles west of Baltimore, police said. Jones, a homeless man, was disgruntled after he was turned away from the food bank because of his increasingly aggressive behavior, police said Friday.

Llewellyn said police don't believe Jones specifically targeted the pair.

"We believe they happened to be the people there when he came in with a gun," she said.

Kohn, who lives in Halethorpe, Md., has been co-rector of St. Peter's since August 2009. Before that, she was an associate rector of the parish, starting in Oct.


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In Pittsfield, St. Stephen's rector, the Rev. Hannah Anderson, said she was "horrified and sickened" by news of the shooting.

She added, "When any violation happens against a sacred place, it's very, very troubling."

Anderson announced that St. Stephen's will host a candlelight vigil with prayers today at 7 for the victims and their families.

Kohn was St. Stephen's interim priest associate from October 2000 to March 2002, serving in between the Rev. Michael Povey and the Rev. Jim Dannals.

Howard County (Md.) police said they found the suspect's body Thursday night in the woods near St. Peter's Epis copal Church. Police found a gun nearby.

"The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland is saddened beyond words by the shootings," spokeswoman Sharon Tillman said Tillman said in a written statement. She said the Maryland bishop, the Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, offered prayers for the victims Thursday night at a chapel in Baltimore, where the diocese is based.

Kohn has a Ph.D. in pastoral counseling, Sutton said. He said he had asked her just last week to counsel members of another parish grieving over their priest's serious illness.

Police identified the slain woman as Brenda Brewington, 59, of Ellicott City. She was pronounced dead Thursday evening at the church.

Police said a church custodian called 911 at about 5:20 p.m., reporting that he found the two women inside a church office.