Alabama church shooting suspect indicted for capital murder


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The suspected gunman accused of fatally shooting three members of an Alabama church at a potluck last month has been indicted for capital murder.

Robert Findlay Smith, 70, was indicted by a grand jury Thursday for capital murder charges following a shooting on June 16 that left Walter “Bart” Rainey, 84; Sarah Yeager, 75; and Jane Pounds, 84, dead, AL.com reported.

The indictment was revealed in court records made public Friday.

Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr applauded the indictment but cautioned the legal prosecution process was “still very early,” the outlet reported.

THIRD ALABAMA CHURCH SHOOTING VICTIM DIES AS ACCUSED GUNMAN FACES CAPITAL MURDER CHARGES

Robert Findlay Smith’s booking photograph released by the Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham, Ala. on Friday, June 17, 2022.
(Jefferson County Jail via AP)

“We will be working closely with the families of those who lost their lives that terrible day, as well as the Vestavia Police Department, as we progress toward holding Smith accountable,” Carr added.

Police said Smith started his shooting spree at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church when he pulled out a handgun and began firing indiscriminately. He was soon disrupted by another church member who rushed him and hit him with a folding chair.

Church members console each other after a shooting at the Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church in Vestavia, AL on June 16, 2022.

Church members console each other after a shooting at the Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Vestavia, AL on June 16, 2022.
(AP Photo/Butch Dill)

The parishioner, who was in his 70s, then disarmed Smith and kept him detained until authorities arrived. The hit left Smith with a deep bruise under his eye. 

ALABAMA CHURCH SHOOTING SUSPECT MUGSHOT SHOWS BLACK EYE AFTER ‘HERO’ STRUCK HIM WITH FOLDING CHAIR

During a press conference the day after the shooting, Vestavia Hills Police Capt. Shane Ware described the actions of the intervening man as heroic and life-saving.

“The person that subdued the suspect, in my opinion, was a hero,” the police chief said during a news conference. He also said his actions were “extremely critical in saving lives.”

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Police Capt. Shane Ware talks about a fatal shooting at a church during a news conference in Vestavia Hills, Ala., on Friday, June 17, 2022. 

Police Capt. Shane Ware talks about a fatal shooting at a church during a news conference in Vestavia Hills, Ala., on Friday, June 17, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

Investigators have not yet determined the motive of the shooting.

Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.

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