WJTV News Channel 12 - Flowood Gun In Church Suspect Has Special Permit To Carry Weapon

Flowood Gun In Church Suspect Has Special Permit To Carry Weapons

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Flowood, MS -

The man who police say accidentally discharged a handgun inside a Flowood church had a special gun permit.   

It happened Sunday morning at Pinelake church off highway 25 north in Flowood.

Police tell us the Pinelake sanctuary was filled with worshippers.

As longtime church member Joseph Edgar Ray sat down, they say a 9 millimeter gun in his right front pocket went off.

Ray was arrested and charged with discharging a firearm in the city.

There were no injuries. But one woman was hit on the leg by the bullet after it ricocheted off the floor.  

Authorities tell us Ray has an enhanced carry gun permit, which gives him the right to carry a concealed weapon in public.

Pinelake has posted signs prohibiting weapons on church property. The signs are not clearly visible so Ray may not have seen them, officials say.

Police tell us church leaders didn't want Ray charged in the case. But they say they want to send a message about gun safety. “If you’re gonna tote a gun then you need to be safe with it, have it in a holster,” said Sgt. Billy Tucker.   

Ray is scheduled to be in Flowood municipal court January 9th.

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