Churches open after shooting

BY DANIEL R. GANGLER | Lincoln Park, MI | April 19, 2000

Residents in a state of shock turned to local churches for safety in the wake of a tragic shooting at an apartment complex that housed senior citizens.

A gunman allegedly shot three women, killing two and injuring one, after being called to a meeting to discuss other residents' complaints about his inappropriate language.

The Rev. Roy Syme, pastor of First United Methodist Church located within a mile of the Lincoln Park Senior Tower where the shootings occurred, said he was shocked. "I offered my church to the police department, who used it to bring people for safety," he said. Syme said police had surrounded the entire area including the street in front of the church.

Police blocked off a two-mile area around the apartment complex while they tried to coax the gunman to surrender. The gunman refused to come out of his 14th-floor apartment from noon on Tuesday until after three that afternoon.

The 14-story Lincoln Park Senior Tower houses 114 residents in a suburb 10 miles south of Detroit.

The Rev. Calvin Reinke, pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church said his church will be "praying for the people (who live in the apartment), praying for the man (who killed the two women) and praying for everyone involved in the tragedy." He said he and his church "will be open to minister to those who need our assistance."

One of the two victims was Marilyn Higgins, 64, a former city council member and longtime Lincoln Park Housing Commission member. Also killed was Mary Parley, 55, a resident of the apartment building, according to Lincoln Park City Attorney Ed Zelenak. Another woman was shot and was in critical condition at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital Wednesday morning.

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