Billy Williams usually checks surveillance cameras at First Baptist Church of Jeffersontown for strangers lingering outside.
He’ll open the door, offer help or give a kind word. Sometimes, even directions.
But around 2:35 p.m. Wednesday, Williams was away from his church office and didn’t see the video monitors when a man appeared and tried to yank open two side doors and then the front door.
Jeffersontown Police believe that man was Gregory Bush, who is accused of murdering two people, both black, at the Jeffersontown Kroger only minutes later.
It was “an act of God” that kept him from seeing Bush on the camera, said Williams, administrator at the predominantly black church, which has been at its Watterson Trail address for 185 years.
“I feel very strongly if I had seen him on camera, I probably would have gone to the same door and said ‘Sir, can I help you?’ I’ve always done that,” Williams said Friday.
“We’ve done that hundreds of times. I may have to rethink that process now.”
He said there were eight to 10 staff members in the church when Bush tried to barge in, and he’s troubled by what could have happened.
“My mind takes me to a place where it shouldn’t be,” Williams said. “But I believe that he came here to do us harm.”
He said the man in the video was wearing neon clothing — the same description police gave for the Kroger shooter — and that there was a dark object on the man’s side “contrasting very strongly to the neon.”
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