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Authorities identify victims killed in shooting at church in Vestavia Hills

Vestavia Hills Police give update on deadly shooting at Vestavia Hills church
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 9:47 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 20, 2022 at 5:44 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Authorities have identified the three victims who were killed in a shooting at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church on June 17.

Authorities say 84-year-old Walter Rainey, of Irondale, and 75-year-old Sarah Yeager, of Pelham, were killed in the shooting. Police say Rainey died at the scene while Yeager was taken to an area hospital, where she later died.

Authorities say 84-year-old Jane Pounds, who was also being treated at a local hospital, died Friday, June 17.

UPDATE: Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church posted an announcement regarding funeral services for all three victims.

All services will be livestreamed.

Walter Bartlett Rainey

Wednesday, June 22

10am Visitation in the Gathering Space

11am Service of Holy Eucharist in the Nave at Saint Stephen’s

12pm Reception in the Gathering Space

Livestream Link

Sarah Sharon McEwen Yeager

Wednesday, June 22

1pm Private Burial Service

3pm Service of Holy Eucharist in the Nave at Saint Stephen’s

4pm Reception at the Chapel of St. John’s

Livestream link

Jane Easter Pounds

Thursday, June 23

11am Service of Holy Eucharist in the Nave at Saint Stephen’s

12pm Reception in the Gathering Space

Livestream Link

ORIGINAL: An attendee at the potluck dinner event subdued the shooter, holding him until police arrived. Capt. Shane Ware with the Vestavia Hills Police said, “The person that subdued him is a hero.”

Authorities say this happened at a church event called the “Boomer’s Potluck Dinner.” Police say the suspect was an occasional attendee of the potluck.

The suspect has been identified as 70-year-old Robert Findlay Smith. He is in custody and is facing capital murder charges.

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