A high-speed police chase on Sunday, June 30 ended in a violent crash causing major property damage to Joshua Christian Church at 793 West Grand Ave. in Oakland.
The chase began in San Francisco when police responded to a report of a shooting at 8:30 p.m. Arriving at the scene, officers noticed a silver sedan speeding away.
Police lost sight of the car near Market Street and West Grand Avenue in Oakland shortly before the suspects crashed into the church sanctuary, just a few hours after parishioners had left an evening church service.
Police say the church’s neighbors immediately led officers to the fleeing suspects.
“It was a blessing that no one was inside the church when the crash happened, as we had a renewing of vows service that night,” said the church’s Pastor Donald Scurry, who is also chairman of First Responders of Oakland, an organization of local pastors working to stem the wave of violence in the community.
Pastor Scurry along with several other pastors, including Pastor Zac Carey, Pastor Gerald Agee, Pastor Michael Moore Sr. and Pastor Phyllis Scott, spoke at a news conference on July 3 against the violence that often leads to dangerous police pursuits and emphasized the need for increased public safety in the community.
The church suffered extensive external and external damages. It is still unknown when Joshua Christian Church will be able to resume services and community programs, including providing meals and clothing to the underprivileged and Summer Vacation Bible School.
At the news conference, pastors offered their support to help defer the costs of repairing the church. To make a donation, contact Shonda Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.