A St. Paul church pastor on Sunday fondly remembered a parishioner shot and killed after a Bible study session. The clergyman decried the arrogance of murderers while praying for their redemption and cautioning people not to take vengeance.
“What makes some think they have the right to murder someone? Hatred. Jealousy. And revenge. But these are the emotions of people who are empty inside,” Pastor William Land told some 80 worshippers gathered at St. Albans Church of God in Christ.
They came to remember RayVell Carter of Roseville. The 41-year-old was fatally shot Wednesday evening as he walked with his father and young daughter. Carter's death was the city's 20th homicide this year.
St. Paul police are investigating the shooting. Police said the victim ran from the area while his father drew a handgun and returned fire. The victim’s father has a valid permit to carry, according to police.
Land said his church has received great support from the community. And he praised police for their help with Carter’s family
“Their support has been enormous. The St. Paul Police Department has been amazing,” he said.
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Police have not yet reported an arrest in the case.
Land is Carter's uncle. He recalled Carter as a charming and gifted man who had turned his life around after serving time in prison. The pastor told the congregation he hopes Carter's killer can also undergo a rebirth.
“Whoever played a role in the murder of RayVell Carter, I pray that they repent of their sins and give their life to the Lord,” he said
Land also warned against revenge, saying it would be un-Christian.
“We don’t believe in retaliation. You know why we don’t believe in that? It’s impossible to get even,” Land said. “Anybody who is out there and thinks they want to retaliate to help us, please don’t do that. You’re not respecting our family. We don’t believe in that.”