Man who shot himself with rifle inside Darke County church in critical condition
February 23 – Church members were hiding in the basement Monday night when a man threatened to harm himself with a gun in the parking lot.
The man, identified as 25-year-old Vincent Veloz by Celina, later shot himself with an AR15 at the Greenville Baptist Temple, 4689 Children’s Home-Bradford Road north of Greenville, according to the Darke County Sheriff’s Office.
MEPs responded to the church after 911 callers reported at 6:20 p.m. that an armed man was in the church parking lot. Five people were in the church, including the pastor, who was reportedly standing in the parking lot near the gunman – who was holding a rifle to his head – when crews from the Greenville sheriff’s office and police station arrived.
The other members of the church barricaded themselves in the basement of the church and the MPs were able to take the pastor to safety.
Veloz walked into the main church entrance while pointing the gun at himself and making demands, including removing people from the church, according to a dismissal from the sheriff’s office.
The MPs escorted all the people in the church to the sheriff’s cruisers until they could be picked up by the church property.
The sheriff’s special response team, tactical medics and crisis negotiators also responded.
Crisis negotiators spoke to Veloz for three hours to get him to put down his gun and surrender, “the press release said.” At 9:26 p.m. Veloz shot himself in the church. “
SRT members and Tactical Paramedics immediately gave Veloz life-saving assistance while Greenville Twp. Fire and Rescue, which was already being staged nearby, responded. Veloz was flown to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, where he was in critical condition on Tuesday afternoon.
Veloz faces serious burglary charges for breaking into the church with a lethal weapon during the occupation. The case is still under review and is being referred to the Darke County Attorney for review of any additional charges.