Police line crime scene
Police line crime sceneiStock

A 71-year old man entered an Alabama church on Thursday night and began firing, killing two people and wounding another, according to police.

Police Capt. Shane Ware said the shooting occurred at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Vestavia Hills, a suburb southeast of Birmingham, Alabama. The suspect was placed in custody after the shooting occurred and prosecutors are expected to charge him with capital murder.

Ware recounted that the man walked into the church with a loaded gun and opened fire during a potluck dinner attended by congregants. He killed an 84-year old man and a 75-year old woman and wounded a third parishioner before being restrained by another person unless law enforcement arrived.

It has not been stated whether the victims were targeted or shot at random.

The mass shooting was responded to by agents from the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives, with the crime scene blocked off as of Friday, the Associated Press reported.

“This should never happen — in a church, in a store, in the city or anywhere,” Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement late on Thursday.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)