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Man Shoots Wife In Church, Then Fatally Wounds Himself With Gunshot To Head

November 21, 1988

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) _ A man shot his estranged wife three times while the couple argued in a church foyer, then killed himself with a gunshot wound in the head, police said.

The shooting occurred at 1 p.m. Sunday, just after morning services ended at Wingfield Baptist Church, police said.

William E. Mitchell Sr., 41, of Lynchburg died at Lynchburg General Hospital about three hours later. His wife, Evelyn Mitchell, 41, was listed in serious but stable condition today with gunshot wounds in the chest and stomach.

Although the foyer was empty, a number of church members were in the main hall and downstairs of the church. Police were questioning parishioners to determine if anyone saw the shooting.

Sherman Calloway was one of several people who heard it. He said he went upstairs to find Mitchell slumped on the top few steps, breathing but unconscious, and Mrs. Mitchell lying on the floor. A small automatic pistol lay nearby.

Lynchburg Police Cmdr. Earl M. Burnette said the Mitchells were separated, but he did not know for how long.

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