Man accused in stabbing during Sunday School - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Man accused in stabbing during Sunday School

Deputies with the Sumter County Sheriff's Department identified the suspect in the stabbing as 65-year-old Billy Lewis. (Source: Sumter County Sheriff's Department) Deputies with the Sumter County Sheriff's Department identified the suspect in the stabbing as 65-year-old Billy Lewis. (Source: Sumter County Sheriff's Department)
Deputies say during Sunday School services at the St. Paul AME Shaw Church, a man stood up and stabbed another man. (Source: WISTV) Deputies say during Sunday School services at the St. Paul AME Shaw Church, a man stood up and stabbed another man. (Source: WISTV)
SUMTER COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

A man is accused of stabbing another man Sunday morning during Sunday School services at a church in Sumter County. 

Deputies with the Sumter County Sheriff's Department identified the man as 65-year-old Billy Lewis. Lewis is charged with attempted murder, however, deputies say other charges could be filed later. 

Deputies say they received the call about the stabbing at about 9:23 a.m. and responded to 1495 N. St. Pauls Church Road. Witnesses told deputies Lewis was sitting behind the victim during the Sunday School services at the St. Paul AME Shaw Church. Lewis suddenly stood up, deputies say, and began stabbing the man in front of him with a 6-inch knife.

We are told the victim was stabbed multiple times including in the back of the head. A nurse that happened to be a part of the Sunday School services helped the victim until EMS arrived. 

“This is certainly a tragic event,” Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis said. “As bad as it was, we are fortunate it was not worse. Our thoughts and prayers go out the church members as well as the victim and his family and the suspect.”

Lewis, who deputies say was a regular parishioner at the church, was taken into custody. We're told it is believed he suffered from some sort of mental disability. Deputies say Lewis has a history of mental health issues, however, they say other than speeding tickets and tickets for not wearing his seatbelt, they are not aware of any violent history. Lewis' bond hearing is set for 2 p.m. Monday afternoon. 

"There had been no argument. As far as we know no animosity between the victim and the suspect. He stabbed him three times. The victim was airlifted out because his injuries appeared very serious. We're happy to report his injuries are not as serious as first thought," said Sheriff's Office spokesperson Ken Bell. 

The victim, whose name has not been released, was flown to the hospital with severe injuries. He was last reported as being in stable condition. 

Deputies say they have not determined a motive in the stabbing and there has not been any prior incident between the men of which they are aware. 

Copyright 2016 WIS. All rights reserved. 

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