Greg McDowell reportedly saw his killer approach before he was gunned down as he led Bible study at Creflo Dollar's World Changers church in College Park on Wednesday. McDowell, 39, was pronounced dead at South Fulton hospital following the 10:30 a.m. shooting. The suspected shooter, Floyd Palmer, 59, was taken into custody hours later outside Macy's at Lenox Square Mall in Buckhead, north of Atlanta.
Court records obtained by WSB-TV reveal the former World Changers employee was committed to a mental hospital in Baltimore, Maryland in 2001 after pleading not criminally responsible for shooting another man.
A witness told WSB-TV that Palmer followed the unidentified man outside and shot him for no apparent reason.
Court records show Palmer was released from the mental hospital a year later with unspecified 5 year conditions. The 2001 victim is paralyzed, according to a family member.
Palmer was divorced from the now deceased mother of his two grown daughters. He lived alone in a sparsely furnished College Park apartment. Police say they don't know why Palmer shot McDowell and they are investigating whether the two men knew each other.
Hours after the shooting, a witness spotted Palmer's black Subaru station wagon in the Lenox Mall parking lot. Another witness told WSB-TV that Palmer walked into the Starbucks next door to Macy's and ordered a coffee drink. Palmer reportedly went to Lenox Mall to turn himself in to mall security, but they didn't know who he was.
Creflo Dollar, who founded World Changers non-denominational church in 1986, was briefed on the shooting at his church Wednesday morning.
"While I was in my morning briefing I got a report that some shots took place over here in the chapel," Dollar told his congregation during a service Wednesday night. Dollar described McDowell as "One of our very faithful, loving, kind servant, volunteer.
"That's not God's will for a husband to be taken away from his wife and family. That's not God's will," Dollar said of the father of two young sons.
Dollar added: God is good, heaven is real and to be absent from the body is to be present with the lord.
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