Local Churches Looking Into Security After Charleston Murders

Local Churches Looking Into Security After Charleston Murders

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Some churches in the Permian Basin are looking to get more security after the deadly shooting that happened at the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday night. NewsWest 9 spoke with residents of Odessa and local churches, they explained how this tragedy has affected people in the Basin.

Pastor Samuel L. Buhl Sr. of St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Odessa, said, "I think it was just horrible that people were praying, having bible study and then all of a sudden somebody comes in, sits down, then shoots."

Carol Evans, an Odessa Resident, said, "It's really sad that one person can go into a church and kill so many people with no thought of it. I mean  everybody has their own beliefs, but to go into a church while people are praising their Lord, it's just really sad."

"That's just an individual, I mean 99 percent of people would not do anything like that but there's always that one person, that's all it takes," said Cliff Minor, an Odessa resident.

Many people say that church was a place that made them feel safe until now. That's after nine people were tragically killed in the South Carolina shooting that officials are calling a hate crime.  The tragedy now has more local churches are looking to get security.

"Since this occurred, we're definitely going to make sure we have some kind of security during our prayer meetings and times during our bible study and youth groups. Even on Sunday morning, while we're in the worship. Because so much is happening here in Odessa, we want to make sure that we keep the people safe and not be scared of coming to church, afraid of something that's going to happen," said Buhl.

Although some say that a church should be the last place that would need security, others agree that it would be best to prevent tragedies like the one in Charleston.

Odessa Resident, Greg Sims, said, "It's always as good idea for churches to have security, you never know what might go on. In this day and time,  there's a lot of evil out there so everybody out there just be alert and be cautious."