Massacres/Mass Murder · Texas

Man indiscriminately shoots members attending church after some refuse to serve as character witnesses on his behalf

June 22, 1980
Daingerfield, Texas
Alvin Lee King III, armed with an semi-automatic rifle and two revolvers, bursts into a church and shoots indiscriminately, killing 5 and injuring 10

King, a former math teacher, was apparently angry at members of the church who refused to serve as character witnesses in King’s trial (he was accused of raping his daughter). He tied his wife to a kitchen chair, told her he loved her, and didn’t want to hurt her. He then went to the First Baptist Church.

After kicking down the church door, he shouted “This is war!” and fired upon the congregation. The five victims killed ranged in age from 7 to 78. Afterward, King walked across the street to a fire station and shot himself in the head but his suicide was unsuccessful. He was treated for his wounds and recovered.

King hanged himself in jail with strips of a towel on January 19, 1982 while awaiting trial. The trial was delayed due to a lengthy psychiatric evaluation to determine if he was mentally competent to stand trial.

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