Accused shooter’s home had bullets, open Bible, wife’s body

September 19th, 2011 by Staff

www.tbo.com – When Polk County deputies were leading a handcuffed Jeremiah Fogle away Sunday morning from Greater Faith Christian Center – where deputies said he had just shot the pastor and associate pastor – Fogle made an announcement.

“If you go to my house,” Fogle said, according to deputies, “you will find a full confession and my wife. … She’s dead.”

According to deputies, Fogle was armed with a .32-caliber Colt revolver when he walked into the north Lakeland church shortly before 10 a.m.

He went directly to Pastor William Boss, who was kneeling and leading church members in prayer before the Sunday morning service, and took a close look to make sure it was Boss. Then Fogle shot Boss once in the back of the head, an arrest report states.

Fogle, a former deacon at the church, then turned and shot the Rev. Carl Stewart once behind the left ear, once in the left shoulder and once in the center of the back, deputies said.

Many attendees ran, but parishioner Derrick Foster, a teacher at the church, tried making his way to Fogle. He tackled Fogle, and as they fell to the ground, Foster grabbed for the gun.

“Two times, he pointed the gun toward my abdomen,” Foster said. “Two times I pointed it away.”

Ultimately, Foster said, he was able to grab the trigger and lock up the gun.

Another teacher, Corey Reed, hit Fogle over the head with a microphone stand.

“I picked (Fogle) up and ordered him to sit down on a chair,” Foster said. “I told him if he tried to run, I would shoot him.”

Fogle, Foster said, just “sat there and laughed. He had a sinister look on his face.”

Boss and Stewart were taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, where they are in critical but stable condition.

Foster couldn’t see Boss at the hospital but visited Stewart this morning.

“We prayed and cried,” he said.

Stewart appeared alert but wasn’t able to talk.

When his daughters asked if he was hot or cold, he shook his head no. When Foster asked if he wanted to get out of the hospital, he nodded.

Fogle, 57, later told deputies he killed his wife, Theresa Fogle, at their home a block away, the report states.

Deputies found 56-year-old Theresa Fogle dead in the living room area at the entrance to the kitchen.

Her pants were next to her body and had blood and what appeared to be a bloody handprint on them, the report states.

When he was taken into custody at the church, Jeremiah Fogle had six .32-caliber rounds in his pocket, according to the report. The gun had one live round and five spent shell casings.

Inside the house, deputies found several notes that suggested “apparent allegations of infidelity with numerous subjects,” the report states. Three spent shell casings were on a table. So was an open Bible.

According to the report, when asked about the shootings Fogle told deputies to “read the notes on the table. I just want it all behind me.”

Asked if his wife was forced to write the notes, he said, “You can’t force anyone to do anything,” the report states.

Asked if he had remorse for church members present when the shootings happened, Fogle said, “There wasn’t that many people in there,” the report states. “Tell them I’m sorry. You have my word.”

Fogle also told investigators he bought the firearm from a friend; he wouldn’t tell investigators which friend, according to the report.

“Fogle stated he loved his wife with all his heart and then invoked his right to remain silent,” the report states.

Fogle was arrested on one count of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder and one count of shooting into an occupied dwelling.

In April 2002, the former deacon married Theresa Fogle at the Greater Faith Christian Center. They broke away from the Pentecostal church after a rift several years ago and started holding services at their house, family members said.


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