It was a tragic morning during the early service at St. Paul AME Shaw Church, in Wedgefield, South Carolina. Around 9:20 a.m. during the service, Billy Lewis, 65, suddenly stood and began stabbing the man in front of him. Witnesses say the man was stabbed at least three times by Lewis. The victim received stabs in the back and head. A nurse at the church rendered aid until help could arrive. Witnesses told police that Lewis was sitting behind the victim during the service when he suddenly stood and began stabbing the man for no apparent reason.
The stabbing victim was airlifted to Palmetto Health Richland and is expected to survive his wounds. At this time, it is unclear what the relationship was between the two men and what motivated the attack. Lewis has been charged with attempted murde for the attack. Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis announced that the sheriff’s department’s victim’s advocates are assisting members of the church. In addition, he stated, “As bad as it was, we are fortunate it was no worse. Our thoughts and prayers go to the church members as well as the victim and his family and the suspect.”
The sheriff’s department has stated that Lewis has a prior history of mental health issues but there has been no violence.