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Police investigate shooting at Harlan County church

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - A place of worship is now a crime scene. Police say a man was shot at the Pine Flat Baptist Church in the Tremont community in Harlan County.

Police say at 10:00 a.m. 59-year-old Clifford Napier, the church caretaker who lives next door, was shot several times.

"Mr. Napier's wife heard the gunshots. She heard her husband screaming. At that time, she came out of the residence and contacted Post 10 for assistance," said Trooper Shane Jacobs.

Troopers say they found Napier on the ground behind the church building with several gunshot wounds. He was flown to Holston Valley Medical Center in Tennessee.

Police say 75-year-old Boss Saylor shot him. Saylor lives on the other side of church beyond a walking bridge. Police say Saylor was not at the scene when they arrived. Troopers found him at his house and took him in for questioning. Later in the afternoon, police arrested and charged him.

Police say they do not have a motive for what led to the shooting.

"We're not sure if some type of argument took place first. However, we are questioning and trying to find out what led to the shooting," said Trooper Jacobs.

Others who live near the church building told WYMT the two men had been arguing for awhile, but they did not know what it was about.

Neighbors tell us they are surprised violence happened at a place known for peace in the community, the church building.

"It's surprising. Sad, very sad," said Rita Chasteen.

Saylor is charged with attempted murder, assault, and tampering with physical evidence. Bond is not set yet for Saylor.

There is no word on Napier's condition in the hospital.

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