Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Warrensville Heights, Ohio, Holds Prayer Service for Men Slain in Barbershop Shooting

The congregation of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Warrensville Heights ended its Sunday service in prayer outside of the barbershop where three men were fatally shot Thursday. (Ryllie Danylko, NEOMG)
The congregation of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Warrensville Heights ended its Sunday service in prayer outside of the barbershop where three men were fatally shot Thursday. (Ryllie Danylko, NEOMG)

Relatives of 32-year-old William Gonzalez, one of three men fatally shot at his Warrensville Heights barbershop Thursday, stopped by the business Sunday morning for a silent moment of reflection.

Instead, they were met with members of Aldersgate United Methodist Church who gathered at Chalk Linez on Harvard Avenue to close their Sunday service.

“I came over to have a quiet time, but God had something else planned for me,” said Debbie Mitchell, Gonzalez’s aunt.

Gonzalez, 31-year-old Brandon White and 23-year-old Walter Barfield were victims of the deadliest shooting in the city’s history. Two other men and a woman struck by bullets were treated at South Pointe Hospital and survived, officials said.

The men were not members of the church, which sits just across the street from the barbershop and directly next to the hospital, but a pastor said this tragedy affects the whole community.

Pastor Howard Pippin Jr. focused his sermon on healing and justice in the wake of the shooting. The church members also prayed for the law enforcement officials investigating the incident and the doctors caring for the three who were wounded.

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Source: Northeast Ohio Media Group | Ryllie Danylko

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