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Pastor beaten to death with guitar

Oct. 30, 2012 at 12:54 PM

FOREST HILL, Texas, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- A church pastor was killed in an assault, and his assailant died after being subdued with a stun gun, Forest Hill, Texas, police said.

The Rev. Danny Kirk Sr., 53, the 18-year pastor of Greater Sweethome Missionary Baptist Church in Forest Hill, a suburb of Fort Worth, was killed by a man who drove his car through a wall of the church Monday, then beat Kirk to death in the church music room, using an electric guitar as a weapon, police Chief Dan Dennis said.

A janitor was injured attempting to stop the confrontation, and a church secretary telephoned the police, KXAS-TV, Dallas, reported Tuesday.

When police arrived, Kirk was still being beaten. They applied a stun gun to the suspect, who was later found dead in the back seat of a patrol car, they said.

The suspect was identified as Derrick Birdow, 33, WFAA-TV, Dallas, reported.

Initial investigation revealed Kirk was confronted by the attacker outside the church, and the argument moved inside to the music room, the guitar used as a "weapon of opportunity," Dennis said.

After news of the incident spread through the church membership, hundreds of grief-stricken congregants arrived at the church, and several were treated by paramedics, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Tuesday.

Motive for the attack was unclear.

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