Deputies now say a man shot at a church near Poinciana in Central Florida had fired shots at the church's pastor, who returned fire with his own weapon, hitting the man.
The Osceola County Sheriff's Office responded shortly after 8 a.m. to the Living Water Fellowship, at 4101 Pleasant Hill Road. There they spoke with witnesses and those involved, who said a meeting was taking place to fire Benjamin Parongan, a maintenance worker at the church.
According to deputies, Parongan pulled out a handgun and fired multiple shots at Pastor Terry Howell, who took out his own weapon and fired back, striking Parongan.
Howell was not injured, but Parongan was taken to Osceola Regional Medical Center in critical condition.
Deputies said several church employees witnessed the incident and gave similar statements.
Sheriff's officials said their investigation was ongoing, and they were treating Pastor Howell's involvement as a case of self-defense, with criminal charges pending against Parongan.
11:41 a.m. — A man was shot Tuesday morning inside a church in Osceola County, east of Poinciana and south of Kissimmee.
The shooting happened around 8 a.m. at the Living Water Fellowship, located at 4101 Pleasant Hill Road.
Deputies would not immediately identify those involved in the shooting, saying only that the victim is a man who knew the shooter.
No arrests have been made, but deputies have begun questioning people inside the church, saying they believe one of those people was involved.
The victim was taken to Osceola Regional Medical Center in critical condition.
Investigators said a childcare facility adjacent to the church was not impacted by the shooting.
"Approximately 16 children were here at the time," said Twis Lizasuain, with the Osceola County Sheriff's Office. "They were not affected by the incident that occurred. As a precaution, we did notify the parents, and all the children have been picked up at this time."
As deputies continued to try and figure out what happened at the church, hoping to get more information about who was shot and why, they said the shooting appeared to be an isolated incident.
Living Water Fellowship has about 1,000 church members, officials said.