Church mourns pastor shot and killed at his East County home

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LATEST: DA not currently filing charges against wife of pastor shot at his home

LEMON GROVE, Calif. — The congregation from a local church is mourning their pastor this week after authorities say he was shot and killed by his wife at their East County home.

Officials say the wife of 29-year-old Rev. Noah Shepherd initially called 911 to report the July 12 shooting as accidental, but she has since been arrested on suspicion of murder. In a Facebook post Wednesday, the San Diego Reformed Presbyterian Church said Shepherd had been a preacher at their place of worship, off College Avenue just outside Lemon Grove.

“The Pacific Coast Presbytery, and the San Diego Reformed Presbyterian Church, express our heartbreaking sorrow over the passing of our brother and fellow-laborer, Rev. Noah Shepherd,” the post reads. “We will remember Rev. Shepherd for the hope of the gospel message he not only preached, but believed. We mourn, not as those without hope, but as those eagerly awaiting eternal life. This was Noah’s hope, and we rejoice that he is with his crucified and risen Savior, Jesus Christ, whom he loved and proclaimed.”

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department says deputies were called to Shepherd’s Lemon Grove home around 6 p.m. Monday. The house is on Camino de las Palmas near state Route 125, less than five miles from the church.

Deputies found Shepherd in his backyard with multiple gunshot wounds and gave him medical care before firefighters arrived to rush him to the hospital, authorities said. He was pronounced dead shortly after arriving and a medical examiner ruled his death a homicide.

The pastor’s wife, 26-year-old Gabriela Rose Shepherd, originally said she accidentally shot her husband as he entered the home through a back door, according to the department. But after further investigating the shooting, the sheriff’s homicide unit arrested her on suspicion of murder. She was booked into Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility and is expected to be arraigned on Thursday.

Anyone with information was asked to call the homicide unit at 858-285-6330 or after hours at 858-565-5200. San Diegans can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

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