This is the place to find the most updated information concerning Missionary John Leonard. Most recent post are written by the family themselves.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Pair tries to kill after cultured American shepherd

Article from Gazeta de Alagoas:

Original Portuguese:
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Dupla tenta matar pastor americano após culto

John antecipou retorno dos EUA para cuidar de filho doente

REGINA CARVALHO
Repórter

Uma tentativa de homicídio, com característica de crime premeditado, abalou os moradores do pequeno município de Coqueiro Seco, situado a 32 quilômetros de Maceió. Por volta das 20 horas do último domingo, depois de liderar um culto religioso na Igreja Batista da Vitória, o pastor evangélico John David Leonard, 45 anos, foi atingido por três tiros a uma distância inferior a dois metros. John ficou tetraplégico e corria risco de morte.

Segundo testemunhos, dois homens se aproximaram da igreja e perguntaram a um evangélico quem seria o pastor John. “Eles apertaram a minha mão, pensando que eu era o pastor e colocaram a arma na minha cabeça, foi quando eu disse que não era o pastor. Eles me perguntaram quem seria e eu apontei. Em seguida, ouvi os disparos. Fechei os olhos para não ver. Foi horrível”, relatou uma testemunha que preferiu não se identificar.

De acordo com esta testemunha, após confirmarem quem seria o pastor, os dois homens também o cumprimentaram e deflagraram pelo menos seis tiros. Três deles atingiram o braço esquerdo, o pescoço e a mandíbula da vítima, que, ontem, já havia se submetido a uma cirurgia na Unidade de Emergência Armando Lages, em Maceió. À noite ele foi transferido para o Hospital Arthur Ramos.

Segundo relatos, depois do ocorrido, os homens saíram tranqüilamente com o rosto exposto e fugiram num veículo do tipo Corsa, de cor prata, mas de placa ainda não identificada pela polícia.

Uma adolescente, que também não quis se identificar, disse que os dois homens estavam bebendo no bar da “Kika”, localizado nas proximidades de onde houve a tentativa de homicídio e teriam pedido papel e caneta à dona do estabelecimento. “Soube que eles anotaram dois nomes e disseram que um já havia morrido e outro iria morrer naquele momento. Logo depois eles atiraram no pastor”, contou. Ela informou ainda que no momento do crime várias crianças estavam no local correndo risco de serem atingidas.

Davi Olindo de Freitas, dono de um estabelecimento comercial que fica na frente da igreja, contou que ouviu os tiros e soube somente depois que o pastor teria sido atingido. “Por coincidência, nesse dia fechei as portas do mercadinho mais cedo”.

Crime foi encomendado, diz delegada
Mesmo com medo duas testemunhas prestaram depoimento ontem à delegada de Coqueiro Seco, Geovânia Ribeiro Falcão: o caseiro de John David Leonard e a pessoa que presenciou os tiros sendo deflagrados.

“Iniciamos as diligências agora e não posso falar muito para não atrapalhar o andamento das investigações. O que posso adiantar é que foi um crime premeditado, feito por encomenda e que não foi praticado por pessoas da cidade”, disse Geovânia Falcão.

O fato de os homens responsáveis pela deflagração dos tiros desconhecerem o pastor e necessitarem da indicação de moradores reforça a hipótese de que o crime foi praticado por encomenda, segundo a delegada.De acordo com Geovânia Falcão, como não existe um motivo aparente para o atentado, todos estão na condição de suspeitos. Ela não descartou a possibilidade de a tentativa de homicídio ter sido por motivação política. “Não descartamos nenhuma hipótese. Por enquanto todos são suspeitos. Essas pessoas foram com a certeza de que encontrariam o pastor no local”, acrescentou.

Provas do crime
Os levantamentos iniciais da polícia apontam que o revólver utilizado pelos homens na tentativa de assassinar o pastor era uma pistola calibre 38. O veículo usado pela dupla para fugir, provavelmente, foi roubado, segundo a delegada, pois estava com o pára-brisa quebrado.

A delegada ressaltou que pode pedir a ajuda da Polícia Federal (PF) para investigar o caso, já que a vítima tinha dupla nacionalidade.

“Sem dúvida vai ser difícil de solucionar essa tentativa de homicídio, pois não existe motivo aparente. A certeza mesmo é de que eles queriam matar o pastor pois mesmo depois dele caído, continuaram atirando”, acrescentou a titular da delegacia de Coqueiro Seco. RC

John realizava trabalhos sociais e com drogados
O pastor John David Leonard tem dupla nacionalidade. Filho de norte-americanos, ele nasceu no Ceará. Estava morando há quase um ano em Coqueiro Seco, onde desenvolvia trabalhos sociais, inclusive tirando jovens do vício das drogas.

No município, ele fundou a Igreja Batista da Vitória e morava em uma casa nos fundos do prédio, com a esposa e quatro filhos. Segundo moradores, a iniciativa de John em fundar uma igreja evangélica contribuiu para aumentar o número de adeptos da religião no município.Há alguns dias o pastor estava nos Estados Unidos (EUA) com a esposa e três filhos, para prestar contas do trabalho desenvolvido no município e somente iria voltar a Alagoas no próximo ano. Entretanto, seu filho George Leonard, 19 anos, que ficou em Coqueiro Seco, sofreu um acidente em casa e teve o fêmur quebrado, o que antecipou a sua volta. “Ele veio ver o filho e iria levá-lo para Juazeiro, onde faria um curso para ser pastor”, contou o morador Davi Olindo.

O pastor também atua como missionário no município de Rio Largo e no Conjunto Graciliano Ramos, em Maceió. RC

Translated to English via Altavista.com:
Scroll Down for Human Translation

Pair tries to kill after cultured American shepherd

John anticipated return of U.S.A. to take care of of sick son

REGINA CARVALHO
Reporter

A homicide attempt, with characteristic of deliberate crime, shook the inhabitants of the small city of Dry, situated Coconut palm the 32 kilometers of Maceió. By return of the 20 hours of the last sunday, after leading a religious group in the Church Baptist of the Victory, the evangélico shepherd John David Leonard, 45 years, was reached by three shots to an inferior distance the two meters. John was tetraplégico and ran death risk.

According to certifications, two men if had approached to the church and had asked to a evangélico who would be the shepherd John. "They had pressed my hand, thinking that I age the shepherd and had placed the weapon in my head, were when I said that he was not the shepherd. They had asked who to me would be and I pointed. After that, I heard the detonations. I closed the eyes not to see. It was horrible ", told a witness whom it preferred not to identify itself.

In accordance with this witness, after to confirm who would be the shepherd, the two men also had complimented it and deflagraram at least six shots. Three of them had reached the left arm, the neck and the jaw of the victim, whom, yesterday, already if it had submitted to a surgery in the Unit of Emergency Seting Lages, in Maceió. To the night it was transferred to the Arthur Hospital Branches.

According to stories, after the occurrence, the men had left calmly with the displayed face and had run away in a vehicle of the Corsa type, color silver, but of plate still not identified by the police.

An adolescent, who also did not want to identify itself, said that the two men were drinking in the bar of the "Kika", located in the neighborhoods of where he had the homicide attempt and would have asked for to paper and penxs to the owner of the establishment. "It knew that they had written down two names and had said that one already had died and another one would go to die at that moment. Soon later them they had shot in the shepherd ", counted. It still informed that at the moment of the crime some children were in the place running risk to be reached.

Davi Olindo de Freitas, owner of a commercial establishment that is in the front of the church, counted that it heard the shots and it only knew later that the shepherd would have been reached. "For coincidence, in this day I closed the doors of the small market more early".

Crime was ordered, says Exactly delegated with fear two witnesses had given deposition yesterday to the commission agent of Dry Coconut palm, Geovânia Ribeiro Hawk: the caretaker of John David Leonard and the person who witnessed the shots being deflagrados.

"We initiate the diligências now and I cannot speak very not to confuse the course of the inquiries. What I can advance is that it was a deliberate crime, made by order and that was not practised by people of the city ", said Geovânia Hawk.

The fact of the responsible men for the deflagration of the shots to be unaware of the shepherd and to need the indication of inhabitants strengthens the hypothesis of that the crime was practised by order, according to delegada.De agreement with Geovânia Hawk, as an apparent reason for the attempted against one does not exist, all is in the condition of suspected. It did not discard the possibility of the homicide attempt to have been for motivation politics. "we do not discard no hypothesis. For the time being all are suspected. These people had been with the certainty of whom they would find the shepherd in the place ", added.

Tests of the crime the initial surveys of the policy point that the gun used for the men in the attempt to assassinate the shepherd was a pistol bore 38. The used vehicle for the pair to run away, probably, was stolen, according to delegated, therefore it was with the broken windscreen.

The commission agent standed out that she can ask for the aid of Polícia Federal (PF) to investigate the case, since the victim had pair nationality.

"Without a doubt it goes to be difficult to solve this attempt of homicide, therefore it does not exist apparent reason. The same certainty is of that they wanted to exactly kill the shepherd therefore after fallen it, had continued shooting ", added the bearer of the police station of Dry Coconut palm. RC

John carried through drugged social works and with
The shepherd John David Leonard has pair nationality. Son of North Americans, it was born in the Ceará. He was liveing has one year in Dry Coconut palm almost, where he developed social works, also taking off young of the vice of the drugs.

In the city, it it established the Church Baptist of the Victory and liveed in a house in the deep ones of the building, with the wife and four children. According to inhabitants, the initiative of John in establishing a evangélica church contributed to increase the number of adepts of the religion in município.Há some days the shepherd was in the United States (U.S.A.) with the wife and three children, to give accounts of the work developed in the city and would only go to come back the Alagoas in the next year. However, its son George Leonard, 19 years, that were in Dry Coconut palm, suffered an accident in house and had fêmur broken, what he anticipated its return. "It came to see the son and would go to take it for Juazeiro, where he would make a course to be shepherd", the inhabitant Davi Olindo counted.

The shepherd also acts as missionary in the city of Wide River and the Graciliano Set Branches, in Maceió. RC

Translated to English via Human Translation:
Thanks to Andrew Comings

Duo Tries to Kill American Pastor After Service

John moved up his return from the U.S.A. to take care of sick son.

REGINA CARVALHO Reporter

A homicide attempt, with characteristics of a premeditated crime, shook the inhabitants of the small city of Coqueiro Seco, situated 32 kilometers from Maceió. At about 8 p.m. last sunday, after leading a religious service in the Victory Baptist Church, the evangelical pastor John David Leonard, 45, was hit by three shots at a distance of less than two meters. John was rendered quadripalegic and at risk of dying.

According to witnesses, two men approached the church and had asked an evangelical which one was pastor John. "They had shook my hand, thinking that I was the pastor, and placed a gun to my head. That was when I said that I was not the pastor. They asked me who was the pastor, and I pointed. After that, I heard the shots. I closed the eyes so I wouldn't see. It was horrible.", said a witness who preferred not to identify himself.

According to this witness, after they confirmed who the pastor was, the two men also greeted him and then got off at least six shots. Three of them hit the left arm, the neck and the jaw of the victim, who, as of yesterday, had undergone surgery in the Armando Lages Emergency Unit , in Maceió. That night he was transferred to the Arthur Ramos Hospital.

According to witnesses, after the shooting, the men left calmly with uncovered faces and escaped in a silver, Corsa-type vehicle of the Corsa model, but with a license plate still unidentified by the police.

An adolescent, who also did not want to identify himself, said that the two men were drinking in the "Kika" bar, located in the neighborhood of where homicide attempt happened, and had asked for paper and pen from the owner of the establishment. "I knew that they had written down two names and had said that one already had died and another one would die very soon. Soon afterward they had shot the pastor", she recounted. She also said that at the moment of the crime some children were in the area, in danger of being shot as well.

Davi Olindo de Freitas, owner of a commercial establishment that is in the front of the church, recounted that he heard the shots and it only knew later that the pastor had been shot. "By coincidence, on this day I closed the doors of the market more early".

Crime was Ordered, Police Chief
Even though they were afraid, two witnesses had given depositions yesterday to the agent of Coqueiro Seco, Geovânia Ribeiro Falcão: John David Leonard's caretaker and the person who witnessed the shots being fired.

"We have initiated the investigation now and I cannot speak very much now so as not to impede the course of the inquiries. What I can say now is that it was a deliberate crime, that it was a paid hit, and that was not carried out by people of the city ", said Geovânia Falcão.

The fact that the men responsible for the shootings did not know the pastor and needed the inhabitants to point him out strengthens the hypothesis that the crime was ordered by someone else, according to chief. In accordance with Geovânia Falcão, as an apparent motive for the attempt does not exist, all possibilities are being examined. She did not discount the possibility that the homicide attempt might have political motivations. "We do not discount any hypothesis. For the time being all are suspect. These people went with the certainty that they would find the pastor at that place," she added.

Proofs of the Crime
The initial police surveys point that the gun used by the men in the murder attempt on the pastor was a 38 pistol. The vehicle used by the pair to escape, was probably stolen, according to cheif, because it had a broken windshield. The agent emphasized that she can ask for the aid of Federal Police (PF) to investigate the case, since the victim had dual nationality.

"Without a doubt it is going to be difficult to solve this attempted homicide, because there is no apparent reason. The thing that is certain is of that they wanted to kill the pastor, because after he had fallen, they continued shooting ", added the police chief of Coqueiro Seco.

John Carried On Social Works and Worked With Drug Addicts
Pastor John David Leonard has dual nationality. Son of North Americans, he was born in the Ceará. He had been living for almost one year in Coqueiro Seco , where he developed social programs, including getting young people off drugs.

In the city, he established Victory Baptist Church and lived in a house at the back of the building, with his wife and four children. According to inhabitants, the work John did in establishing an evangelical church contributed to an increase number of followers of the religion in the city. For a few days the pastor had been in the United States with his wife and three children, to give reports of the work developed in the city, and he would only be coming back to Alagoas the next year. However, his son George Leonard, 19 years, who was in Coqueiro Seco, suffered an accident in house and had a broken femur, which cause him to return earlier than planned. "He came to see his son, and was going to take him to Juazeiro, where he would be studying to be a pastor", resident Davi Olindo recounted.

The pastor also carries out missionary work in the city of Rio Largo and the Graciliano Ramos, in Maceió.
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1 Comments:

Que bom ver a recuperação do Pastor. Que Deus continue abençoando sua vida.
Abraços
Marcelino

By Anonymous Marcelino, at Saturday, July 30, 2005 8:00:00 AM  

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