Bullet pierces window at Florida preschool connected to controversial church

Around the South

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Police are investigating after a bullet shot into a church preschool window in St. Petersburg Thursday.

Just after 3 p.m. police were notified that a bullet pierced the window of a classroom at the Allendale Methodist Church on Haines Road. Thankfully none of the 11 2-year-old students inside were injured, according to police.

Initial investigation reveals it doesn’t appear to have been a straight shot into the window, but rather a stray round from a nearby area. The police department says there have been no arrests, and detectives are going to study the bullet to find out where it came from.

Police say a total of 44 children attend the preschool.

The preschool where it happened is part of the Allendale Methodist Church on Haines Road. The church posted a statement on Facebook after saying “given that the bullet fell just inside the window, it appears to have been fired at a great distance and not be a targeted shooting.”

This afternoon around 3 pm, what police say appears to be a stray bullet came through one of our preschool classrooms….

Posted by Allendale UMC – St. Petersburg on Thursday, August 22, 2019

Allendale has drawn criticism in the past for taking stances on controversial issues. After Markeis McGlockton was shot and killed by Michael Drejka in Clearwater last year, Allendale’s Pastor Andy Oliver helped organize a protest against Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.

The church has also posted controversial messages on its marquee sign out front. Back in January, the church sign read, “White supremacy is the real crisis.” Last year, the sign was vandalized with the message “gay pastor” when the church posted its support for Florida’s Amendment 4.

Pastor Andy Oliver also faced sanctions earlier this year for performing a same-sex marriage.

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