The pastor of a church that’s been targeted by copper thieves said a member of the congregation shot a suspect early Thursday while guarding the church overnight.

Officers responded to a call before 4:30 a.m. from two church members who were said to be keeping watch at the North Sheridan Church of Christ, 1313 N. Sheridan Road.

According to pastor Tim Luster, officers had responded to a possible burglary suspect at the church the previous evening. When no suspect was found, police left the scene, but two church members volunteered to stand guard the next night at the church. Previous thefts had left the church without air conditioning.

“It’s rather frustrating to have people come in and invade the house and destroy property that costs us a lot of money,” Luster said. “But we’ve been dealing with it for the most part, trying to overcome the frustration of it and we’ve been in prayer a lot about it.”

The two church members standing guard reportedly heard someone on the roof about 4 a.m. and confronted that man in the parking lot, Luster said. They reportedly shot him when he tried to make a move on one of them.

A shotgun and several 12 gauge shotgun hulls were visible at the crime scene, as well as copper piping, a screwdriver and flashlight.

The man was reportedly in critical condition as of Thursday morning.

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Stetson Payne

918-732-8135

stetson.payne@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @stetson__payne

Staff Writer

Stetson covers breaking news, general assignment and other stories. He previously worked at the Enterprise-Journal in Mississippi. He is from Broken Arrow and graduated with a journalism degree from Oklahoma State University. Phone: 918-581-8466

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