East Texas man recalls seeing church shooting suspect crash into his yard

Damage caused by church shooting suspect crash
Damage caused by church shooting suspect crash(KLTV)
Updated: Jan. 3, 2021 at 10:33 PM CST
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STARRVILLE, Texas (KLTV) - A couple who lives next to Starrville Methodist Church watched Saturday night as 21-year-old Mytrez Woolen crashed into their yard.

“I haven’t seen anything quite like that before,” Tom Pritchard said. “Last night about 8 o’clock, maybe a little bit after, my wife and I heard some kinda loud noises like something running into something and we looked out there and saw a bunch of police cars, four or five police cars.”

Mytrez Woolen, driving a Volkswagen Jetta at high speeds while being chased by police, crashed into Pritchard’s front yard. The car took out a sign and left marks in the grass.

“I went out there to see what was going on and they told me to go back inside because the guy that was in the car had jumped out of the car and ran off into the woods,” Pritchard said.

Woolen disappeared into the woods, but would return − breaking a window and hiding out in the church. In the morning, pastor Mark McWilliams encountered Woolen − ultimately, costing him his life. Pritchard attended his church every Tuesday and says he was both a great person and pastor.

“Preaching the word, talking, we just had a great time with them as far as being friends,” Pritchard said.

Now the man accused of killing McWilliams is in the Smith County Jail and facing charges that could bring a lifetime behind bars. “I’m glad he’s in custody and I think that justice should be passed onto him and that he should receive the same justice he gave to Mark,” Pritchard said.

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