Family: Man accused of shooting churches not the person we know - WSMV Channel 4

Family: Man accused of shooting churches not the person we know

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Wendell Buchanan (Photo: Bedford County Police Department) Wendell Buchanan (Photo: Bedford County Police Department)
Officials are still looking for a motive for why a man shot up several Bedford County churches. (WSMV) Officials are still looking for a motive for why a man shot up several Bedford County churches. (WSMV)
A Facebook post by Wendell Buchanan that has now been removed. (Facebook) A Facebook post by Wendell Buchanan that has now been removed. (Facebook)
SHELBYVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

There are major questions surrounding the motive for accused Shelbyville church shooter Wendell Buchanan.

Buchanan was arrested on Oct. 1 during a traffic stop after Bedford County deputies saw him drive by one of the shooting scenes several times. His car matched a description from someone who witnessed one of the shootings, and deputies found a rifle during the stop.

Bedford County Sheriff Austin Swing said detectives are looking at Facebook posts, which appear to come from Buchanan’s account, as part of the investigation.

One post said: "I’m just doing my job as a messenger for my Lord, I owe absolutely everything to Allah because he has set me free from my spiritual cage.” The post has since been removed from Facebook.

Buchanan is accused of shooting into three rural churches in Shelbyville over a five-day span in September.

The Horse Mountain Church of Christ was targeted three separate times and the bullets caused thousands of dollars in damages.

"We love people,” said Mark Pierce, the church's minister. "This congregation has always tried to help everybody it possibly can so something like this happening is very upsetting.”

Buchanan’s family told Channel 4 he is a recent convert to Islam. They released a statement which reads:

"We love Wendell. We don't know whether he's done it or not. We hope he didn't do it and we're thankful to God. The Wendell that we know didn't do it. We're sorry it happened. We're sorry for the churches. We hate it worse than anybody."

Buchanan is facing four counts of destruction of utility equipment, five counts of desecration of a venerated object, and nine counts of felony vandalism. He remains in the Bedford County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

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