When a church janitor in Kissimmee learned his employment had come to an end Tuesday morning, he pulled out a gun and began firing shots at the pastor who had just let him go.
Living Water Fellowship Pastor Terry Howell, however, was packing his own gun, which he pulled out and used to return fire. Unlike the ex-employee, Howell’s bullets struck, leaving the man in critical condition, according to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.
The incident unfolded early Tuesday morning at the 4101 Pleasant Hill Road church.
“Upon arrival, deputies spoke with witnesses and those involved, who indicated a meeting was taking place to terminate the employment of Benjamin Parongan, a maintenance worker” when the gunshots rang out, the release stated. Those witnesses told detectives Howell defended himself by pulling out his weapon, police said.
Parangan was taken to Osceola Regional Medical Center.
At this point, Howell’s actions are being treated as self-defense. Criminal charges against Parongan, however, are pending the outcome of the investigation.
The shooting follows the death of Pastor James “Tripp” Battle in Bradenton earlier this month. Battle was one of the victims of a triple homicidethat included two crime scenes. His accused attacker now faces three first-degree murder charges.