Gunfire strikes cars in Chester church parking lot

August 4, 2013 8:54:13 PM PDT
Shattered glass and bullet holes - dozens of church members walked out of Sunday afternoon services at 22nd Street and Edgemont Avenue to find this scene in Chester.

"I would feel like anyone else would feel ? frustrated but it is what it is," said Juan Collazo.

Tabernacle Transformation, a mostly Spanish speaking congregation, was renting out the sanctuary from the existing church - Grace Church of God in Christ.

It was their first Sunday using the building.

Around 4:00 p.m., service was wrapping up when a hail of bullets hit at least five vehicles, striking windows, bumpers and tires.

Fortunately no one was injured.

"We always come out at 4pm but we came a little later than we use to so thank God nobody got hurt," said Pastor Jose Ortiz.

Upland and Chester police were on the scene looking for shell casings and the shooter.

Pastor Ortiz says it appears the vehicles were not the intended target and the gunman was possibly chasing after another man who was running through the parking lot trying to take cover.

For the church, they say incidents like this is the reason why they are here.

"To make a change, to make a difference, we have to see how we can help the community so that this won't happen again," said Pastor Ortiz.

It was an unexpected afternoon but church member Sherly Rodriguez said, through a translator, she'll be back next Sunday.

"She was saying that it's better for her to keep God in her life and that she's happy that nobody got hurt and it's not going to stop her from going to church," said her translator.

Pastor Ortiz says their 2:00 p.m. service will go on as planned next Sunday. The church will also hold a prayer service in the parking lot.

Meanwhile police are still investigating.


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