The pastor of a Kissimmee church shot and critically wounded an employee Tuesday morning in a shootout after he notified the man he was being fired, according to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.
The shooting shortly after 8 a.m. was witnessed by other church workers at Living Water Fellowship on Pleasant Hill Road, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Twis Lizasuain.
Benjamin Parangan Jr., a member of the maintenance crew for at least eight years, allegedly opened fire when he was told he no longer had a job, Lizasuain said.
The bullets missed Pastor Terry L. Howell Sr., 61, who drew his own pistol and critically wounded Parangan, 47, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Parangan’s condition was so serious that paramedics wanted to send him by helicopter to Orlando Regional Medical Center’s trauma surgeons, but fog and heavy clouds forced them to transport him by ambulance to Osceola Regional Medical Center in Kissimmee, Lizasuain said. Parangan’s condition was upgraded to stable Tuesday evening.
Parangan was charged with aggravated assault with intent to kill, Lizasuain said. Additional charges are pending. Parangan is in custody and will be booked into the Osceola County Jail when he’s released from the hospitals, Lizasuain said.
Church workers who saw the shooting gave similar accounts to detectives. The shooting is being investigated as a case of self-defense, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Howell and Parangan both had concealed-weapon permits, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Read more: OrlandoSentinel.com