Daniel Schooler, 69, is the suspect who cops say shot and killed his brother, the Reverend William Schooler, during church on Sunday morning. The pastor was leading a service at St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church in Dayton, Ohio. Witness reports were conflicting, but several said Daniel stood up during the service, followed Schooler to the pulpit, and shot him.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Daniel Schooler Was the Pastor’s Brother
Daniel Schooler was the pastor’s brother, WHIO reported. No one understands why the shooting happened or what may have triggered it. People are shocked that anyone would want to hurt Pastor William Schooler.
Before police released Daniel’s name, they said there was no threat to the general public because the shooting was related to a “domestic violence situation,” WCPO reported.
2. Daniel Schooler Assaulted a Friend and Held a Knife to Her Throat
Daniel Schooler, the Rev. William Schooler’s brother, is retired from General Motors, according to his Facebook page. He and William Schooler have one more living brother, according to an obituary from when a third brother, Allen Henry “Sonny” Schooler, died. Their other brother is Robert Schooler.
This isn’t the first time that Daniel Schooler has had a run in with the law, according to an appeal filed in 2003 with the Ohio Supreme Court. In that case, “Daniel G. Schooler” from Dayton, Ohio (the same name as the suspect) appealed his conviction for felonious assault.
According to the case, one of his friends, Dina Carolus, stopped by his home to see if Daniel needed a ride anywhere. He believed his friend had stolen money and struck her in the face, knocking her to the floor. He then pinned her to the ground with his knee on her chest while demanding she return his money. He grabbed her phone and hit her in the head with it. The case goes on to say that he pulled a pocketknife out of his pants and put the knife against her ear and threatened to kill her, while also choking her. When he walked her outside, while holding her hair, he repeatedly stabbed her in the legs with the knife. He was found guilty of assault but not kidnapping and appealed the conviction.
3. Daniel Was Known for Randomly Attacking People, Including Two Men Who Feared He Would Kill Them
Dayton Daily News reported that Daniel Schooler had even more problems with violence beyond the felonious assault case. In 2001 he was also charged with felonious assault with a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon. He plead guilty to one count of felonious assault and was sentenced to five years probation. The court noted that he may be mentally ill, needing treatment.
In 2007, Daniel Schooler attacked a friend with a golf club, hitting him three times on the head without provocation, Dayton Daily News reported. The friend said Daniel had mental problems and this wasn’t the first time he had hit him. The case was dismissed because the friend didn’t want to pursue charges.
Then in January 2008, two men said that Schooler threw a hammer at them and charged them while running with a six-inch knife. Schooler insisted to police that he was being teased by the two men. The two men said that Schooler was known for acting out and he had mental problems. They were afraid Schooler might kill them, they said. The witnesses didn’t appear in court and the charges against Schooler were dropped.
4. The Gunman Stood Up from a Pew and Began Shooting While the Choir Was Singing
The shooting occurred Sunday morning in the middle of a church service, while the choir was singing, Breaking 911 reported. Pastor Schooler had just walked back to his pulpit when he was shot. Daniel Schooler then stood up from the pew and followed Schooler to the pulpit, witnesses said. That’s when he started shooting. A few shots were fired and people began running out of the church.
There were conflicting reports early on, with some people saying the pastor was shot in his office, WHIO reported. One witness, according to Fox45, said that the pastor had walked back to his office after morning prayer, while the choir was singing, and the gunman walked into the study. They heard gunshots and the usher told everybody to run out.
St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church is on the 3300 black of Nancy Avenue in Dayton, Ohio. After the shooting, a man was seen being walked out of the church in handcuffs and put in the back of a police cruiser, WHIO reported. There were about 20 people in attendance when the shooting happened, WDTN reported.
5. The Motive for the Shooting Isn’t Yet Clear
The motives for the shooting aren’t yet known. Rev. Schooler died from his injuries. He was a decorated war veteran from Vietnam who had worked in the local public school district for more than 30 years. Friends, family, and church members loved him and said he was kind.
Ronnie Moreland, local community leader, told WCPO: “He had deep roots in the community. He was a beloved leader. It’s hard to put into words what has happened.”