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Authorities investigating possible connection between gunfire at churches

Another bullet hole at Bethel AME Church (Photo Source: WCSC) Another bullet hole at Bethel AME Church (Photo Source: WCSC)
Tape covered a bullet hole at Bethel AME Church. (Photo Source: WCSC) Tape covered a bullet hole at Bethel AME Church. (Photo Source: WCSC)
Bullet holes at James Island United Congregational Church (Photo Source: WCSC) Bullet holes at James Island United Congregational Church (Photo Source: WCSC)
Bullet holes at James Island United Congregational Church (Photo Source: WCSC) Bullet holes at James Island United Congregational Church (Photo Source: WCSC)
JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) -

Authorities trying to determine if shots that were fired into two James island churches are related incidents.

Two black churches targeted are less than a quarter mile apart on Central Park Road.

Charleston Police responded to Bethel AME Church Wednesday night where four bullet holes in the stained glass window behind the pulpit had been discovered. Church members said the bullets ricocheted inside and caused holes in the walls and ceiling. According to an incident report, damage was estimated at four thousand dollars. 

Charleston County deputies responded to reports of bullet holes found at the James Island United Congregational Church on Central Park Road Thursday morning. Investigators have located nine bullet holes, four in both windows and one in the door.

The church's pastor, the Rev. Hercules Champaign said if the shots had been fired during the previous night's Bible study, he would have been in the line of fire from the shot through the front door.

"I could say nothing for a while," Champaign said. "Who would do this? Who would have a war against church? What did church do to them? I know I didn't do anything to anybody. If you want to kill me, wait till I get out of the church."

Fortunately no one was inside either church when the shots were fired. No suspects have been identified.

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