Local pastor: Parishioners shielded from gunfire by bible study that ran late

Posted at 5:42 PM, Jan 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-26 21:11:04-05

A local pastor ran for cover Wednesday night as Cleveland police said gunfire erupted at East 142nd and Harvard Avenue. The shooting left two men dead.

“Truthfully, it sounded like bullets were passing by me," said C. Wayne Brantley, pastor of Zion Pentecostal Church of Christ at East 142nd and Harvard.

Brantley said he hid behind a nearby garage while his parishioners wrapped up bible study inside. Had it not been for an extra testimonial, he said the situation probably would have been much worse.

"Our congregates would have been in the parking lot during the time of the gunfire and could have easily been caught in the crossfire," added Brantley.

Brantley was not injured nor were any of his parishioners.

The shooting occurred at around 8:30 p.m. Police said more than 50 rounds were fired. Four bullets hit an occupied, unmarked police car. The two Cleveland police detectives inside were not injured.

Police arrested two brothers, Cedric and Robert Shephard, in connection with the incident. That happened after officers said they led them on a chase that ended at East 55th and Cedar Ave.

Police said 22-year-old Darien Hayes was fatally shot. The second victim has not been identified.

Meanwhile, Brantley said he is addressing gun violence in his sermon on Sunday.

"We have to be able to offer solutions for combating these kinds of situations,” he said.