llinois State Police say the pastor gunned down at a church in a St. Louis suburb used a Bible to deflect the first of four rounds fired during his Sunday sermon.
State Police Director Larry Trent says the Bible exploded, producing what appeared to be confetti.
Trent says about 150 people in attendance initially believed the episode was a skit being performed as part of the service at First Baptist Church in Maryville.
Trent says only one of the four rounds fired from the .45 caliber handgun struck and killed 45-year-old pastor Fred Winters.
Two congregants and the gunman suffered stab wounds while the gunman was wrestled to the floor after his gun jammed.
Trent says no one at the church recognized the gunman.