EAST ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  It was a story that shocked and upset many: three masked gunmen walked into an East St. Louis church and robbed the people attending service on January 27.

Pastor Henry C. Jones of Ira Grove Free Will Baptist Church says the church does not normally hold services on Sunday evenings, that was a special occasion. Jones was giving a sermon at another church when the suspects burst in and stole from members. When he heard about what happened, Jones says he was “shocked” that someone would do that to his church or any church.

Perhaps it’s the shock that has led a half dozen members to not come back since the crime “because of what has happened to that church,” according to Jones. He says the robbery has “scared them off” but he is hopeful they will return.

The pastor add that if the suspects needed help and had asked the church, they would have received it.

Two suspects have been charged with obstruction of justice in the robbery and more charges are expected.


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