Pastor Joe Moore of The Upper Room Christian Faith Center Church in Compton, California was shot and killed Sunday, October 24, 2021 while walking to his car to look for his wallet after teaching Sunday school.
The 65-year-old pastor was getting ready for the main service when he was shot. Witnesses found the pastor holding his Bible, cane, and car keys when they found him laying in the street with a fatal gunshot wound to the chest.
According to the Los Angeles Times, officials believe the pastor was targeted, but have no motive or suspects at the moment. They are searching for a gray colored sedan believed to be connected to the shooting.
Moore’s cousin Christine Peggese pleaded with the shooter or shooters to turn themselves in. “You’ve killed a pastor. You didn’t kill a normal guy just hanging around a liquor store,” she said. “You killed a beautiful man that had a family, that had grandkids and was the pastor of the church.”
Peggese was attending church this past Sunday because Moore invited her. “All I can say is the Devil’s busy. The Devil’s very busy,” Peggese said. She went to the church on Sunday in hopes of visiting with Moore, whom she hadn’t seen in years. What she encountered when she arrived were people screaming that he had been killed.
Raymond Sanders, Moore’s nephew, said his uncle recently preached about anger, saying, “He was discussing how you can be angry, but sin not. He was saying you can be angry, but still be a better person, a better man, a better father by not turning to anger.”
Sanders said that Moore wouldn’t have just forgiven his attacker, but would of been the first to do so.
Moore’s niece Sandra Gladney told the Los Angeles Times, “This killing spirit is the enemy. This is between good and evil. Who walks up to people with no conscience and just does this?”
Gladney shared that her uncle always talked about the word of God and would plead with gang members in his community to put down their guns. “He was out there trying to win souls,” Gladney said.
The pastor’s daughter, Daney, has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for Moore’s funeral services. The page says, “My family and I are devastated from this lost. My father was a preacher and a man of God. He loved his wife, siblings and children very much and wanted to help everyone get saved. My family and I are still mourning the lost of [an] uncle and cousin we buried on Friday and Saturday of last week. I’m praying my [father’s] legacy will live on and everyone will be saved!”