Police: Fulton County church gunman charged in mosque shooting - CBS46 News

Police: Fulton County church gunman charged in '01 mosque shooting

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Floyd Palmer, Gregory McDowell Floyd Palmer, Gregory McDowell
FULTON COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Court documents revealed new information about the man accused of shooting and killing another man inside a Fulton County church.

Fulton County police said Floyd Palmer, 52, gunned down Gregory McDowell, 39, Wednesday as McDowell lead praise services at World Changers Church International.

But should Palmer have been a free man?

The Associated Press reported Palmer was previously charged with shooting a man at a Maryland mosque.

Police documents show Palmer was working security at a Baltimore mosque in June 2001 when he shot another man working security. The initial police report did not say why Palmer shot the man in the back. Palmer tried to fire the gun again, but it jammed.

Palmer was committed to a psychiatric hospital in 2004 after pleading not criminally responsible. Court records show he was released the next year.

A witness at World Changers Church International on Wednesday described the scene.

"I saw a gentleman approach the pulpit wearing a brown suit. Within about a couple of seconds to a minute, he began firing at close range. He fired about three shots before I fled out the back door of the sanctuary," said the witness.

Police arrested Palmer, unarmed, five hours later at Lenox Square Mall in Buckhead.

Overnight, police searched his Riverdale home, removing evidence, including a backpack.

As police work to unravel what lead up to the church shooting, a church community prays for answers.

McDowell leaves behind a wife, two sons, and a grieving congregation.

While police have not released information on a motive, they said Palmer worked in the church's maintenance department before resigning in August.

Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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