Police: one person dead, another critically injured in church shooting

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- One person was killed and another critically injured in a shooting at Springdale Community Church, in the 4600 block of Springdale Road near the Summit Shopping Center.

The first reports of the shooting came in around 7:30 p.m. Thursday. An off-duty LMPD officer who was inside the church at the time of the shootings arrested the suspected shooter -- 55-year-old Mahmoud Yousef Hindi -- immediately after the shooting.

The man who died was 75-year-old David Merritt, according to the Jefferson County Coroner's Office. His cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head.

Neighbors tell WDRB News that Hindi was upset over deed restrictions to his property and shot the two people responsible for enforcing those restrictions during a Spring Creek homeowners' association meeting.

"I would say he was deranged, but that would be after the fact," said Myron Pass. "He's made threats in the neighborhood before, and just didn't get along with his neighbors. But I never thought it would go this far."

Pass says he normally attends the homeowners meetings, but wasn't able to make it last night. He says he makes a point of avoiding Hindi.

A bible study and at least one soccer game was taking place inside and outside the church at the time of the shooting, several people told WDRB News.

One person inside the church ran out and screamed, "Run!" to players taking part in a soccer game.

About 10 to 20 people were inside the church when the shooter opened fire. Police spent several hours interviewing each of them after the shooting.

About 10 to 20 people were inside the church at the time of the shooting. LMPD police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley credits the retired police officer who arrested Hindi with keeping things from getting much worse.

"Fortunately, despite this tragedy, there was a retired LMPD officer who was also at the church at the time that this occurred. What he did was subdue that person, he was able to detain him until our officers arrived.

Hindi was set to be arraigned on Sept. 8. So far he has been charged with murder, assault, and seven counts of wanton endangerment.

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