2 brothers dead in stabbing at church

Two brothers are dead after a stabbing at a West Huntsville church.
Two brothers are dead after a stabbing at a West Huntsville church.
Anthony and Terry Jackson (Source: Family)
Anthony and Terry Jackson (Source: Family)

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Two brothers are dead after a stabbing at a West Huntsville church.

Emergency crews responded to West Huntsville United Methodist Church at 3104 9th Avenue before 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Police said one man was found dead inside the church and the other was taken from the church to the hospital where he later died.

The victims were identified as Anthony Jackson, 76, and Terry Jackson, 69, both of Huntsville.

News of the murder shocked church members and neighbors.

"I just can't believe that a murder would have happened in a church like that when they are doing something good," said Keli Milford.  She's attended the church for the last 40 years.

Milford describes the brothers as sweet, quiet men who attended church every Sunday and sang in the choir.

"I just know that two sweet very sweet brothers are gone," she said.

A witness told police she saw a man running down the street moments after it happened.

"Running through my neighbor's yard acting like he hadn't done anything, looked back and waived and I said, 'Who is that running?' We didn't know what he had done," said witness Elizabeth Buchanan.

Terry cared for his older brother Anthony, who had physical and mental disabilities.

The brothers were longtime members of the church who helped with the food pantry every Tuesday, always attended Bible study, and sang in the choir.

"To me they were the epitome of kindness," said church member Linda Claunch.

"I've just asked myself why because they would give you the shirt off their back and there was no need for any kind of confrontation. It's just hard to understand. You would have had to have known them to understand," added Robert Claunch."

Pastor Cheryl Blankenship did have a message for the person responsible.

"You came to the right place to begin to find help. We are extremely saddened and angry about the violence that was carried out. You ended up hurting the people who could have helped you the most probably," said Blankenship.

Police do have a potential suspect. They said they are looking for a black man in his 40's, dressed in dark clothing who was seen running from the church. Investigators said the suspect may be injured.

Police are asking people with information to call 256-722-7100.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.