Family speaks out after deadly church shooting


ATLANTA - For the second day in a row, the man accused of gunning down a church volunteer during a prayer service Wednesday morning waived his hearing.

Floyd Palmer was supposed to face a judge Friday morning, but decided to waive his hearing.

The victim's mother, Brenda McDowell, showed up to the Fulton County Jail surrounded by family, looking for the chance to see the man accused of fatally shooting her son, Greg McDowell, Wednesday morning at World Changers Church International.

Palmer was arrested Wednesday afternoon after he had been tracked to the Macy's store inside Lenox Square.

Radio personality Kristin Klingshirn, of "The Bert Show," was inside the store when the arrest took place.

"I was shopping specifically at Macy's. Nobody inside ever knew anything was wrong," Klingshirn told Channel 2's Ryan Young .

She talked to Young about being nearby as the arrest of Palmer went down Wednesday afternoon.

"I don't really understand the man's thinking because he does, allegedly, such a horrendous act, and then to go and sit down and have a cup of coffee when this happened just hours earlier, it just shook you. And I go to Twitter and I'm like, 'Does anybody know what's up with all the police presence at Lenox mall?' and that's when I immediately got feedback and the link to WSBTV that the World Changers church shooter had been caught at Lenox mall," Klingshirn said.

As Channel 2 Action News reported earlier in the week, the suspect tried turning himself in twice before being arrested. An Atlanta police officer eventually took Palmer into custody.

"So I have to give credit to the Atlanta Police Department, because I never once felt unsafe the entire time I was there. So, I think they handled it well and like I said, nobody really knew what was going on," Klingshirn said.

Young's sources told him police still have not found the gun used in the church shooting and the suspect is no long talking to detectives.

Meanwhile, Friday afternoon the victim's family spoke out for the first time, thanking thanking everyone for their love and support over the loss of Greg McDowell and now they are asking for justice.

"Mr. McDowell's wife, children, parent and family are doing about as well as can be expected considering the ordeal," Pastor Jerome McDowell, the victim's Uncle told a group of reporters outside McDowell's Union City home, reading from a prepared statement. "We'd also like to thank all the law enforcement agencies for a speedy apprehension and arrest of the suspect and trust at some point, that there will be a conviction."

A church representative, who asked to not be identified, told Channel 2's Sophia Choi that Palmer probably knew McDowell since both worked at World Changers Church, but not well since the two worked in different departments and on different shifts.

McDowell's wife, Rosetta, was not present for the news conference.

The church representative told Choi she was out making arrangements for the funeral, which will be held early next week where McDowell worked, prayed and ultimately died, at World Changers Church.

"We ask you to continue to pray for us throughout the days ahead," Jerome McDowell said.

McDowell's family members have been very private through this entire ordeal, but church members have told Channel 2 Action News he was a dedicated employee who always had a smile and he was also a loving husband, with two young sons.