The AP reports that Jonathan Paul Ayers, a pastor from Lavonia, GA, was shot and killed during a drug sting operation on Tuesday September 1. According to the story, police insist that Ayers was not the target of the investigation. Their person of interest was an unnamed woman who had been in the car with Ayers. She was the target of a prior drug and prostitution investigation.
According to local station WNEG:
Stephens Co. Sheriff Randy Shirley, said, “The target was seen meeting with the deceased and at one point getting out of the car of the deceased. They went down from a local establishment down to the Shell Station.”
Shirley said that undercover officers then confronted Ayers, after he left the store. “They identified themselves as police and Mr. Ayers backed up into one of the agents, and then pulled his vehicle forward in a fast motion toward the other agent… at which time the agent fired two shots into the automobile,” he said.
According to the AP story, Matt Carpenter, Ayers’ brother-in-law, defended Ayer’s character:
“Any question of his character, particularly involving something like drugs, is just ridiculous,” he said.
I don’t understand Ayers’ actions if what the police are reporting is true. It would almost appear that he was frightened. If his character is without question, then it would appear that he could be the victim of his ministry. Reaching out to help those who have been or previously involved in illegal activity can’t always be neat and clean. The rewards, however, are eternal. God’s comfort and the peace of Jesus be with his family.
(thanks to @dwablog for the link to this news story.)