Friday, November 25, 2005


Erie minister charged in shooting

Erie, Penns. - An Erie minister accused of shooting a 15-year-old youth in the leg last Friday has been charged with aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person.

The Rev. Willie Sanders Jr., 42, a minister at Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, said he and his 19-year-old son had gone to talk to relatives of a teenager who threw a bottle at his son, but a group of teens surrounded them and one indicated he had a gun.

The Rev. Sanders said he did not intend to fire at the teenager but felt his life was being threatened, so he fired into the ground.

"I wanted them to disperse and to leave my son alone," he said. "I would never in my life want to hurt someone else's child, but these young people are ruthless."

Erie police Detective David Hudson, however, said witnesses told a different story. Police said witnesses told them that the Rev. Sanders brought his son back to fight the other teen, and the gun went off as he later tried to break up the fight.

The shot passed through the leg of the teenager, who was later treated.

See also, the never-ending chronicle of church-related crime.

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