Church Volunteer Fought Off Attacker - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/10/04 - Longview

Church Volunteer Fought Off Attacker

New information in Monday's attack at a Longview church. Police say they have identified the man they believe beat Laura White, a church director, with a pipe.

They say an arrest is expected by the end of the week. A second church volunteer found the suspect attacking White and tried to fight him off. Police are calling him a hero.

67 year old Trice Williams volunteers at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Longview. Monday he wasn't suppose to come to the church but decided he'd do a little yard maintenance. Instead he became a hero.

"I thought well I'll just check the door while I'm out there. Went up there and the door was open," says Williams.

He heard screams. Then he saw a man brutally attacking a church volunteer, Laura White, with a pipe. "He was standing over her just hitting her back and forth across the head and I hollered at him and when I did he turned around and looked at me, well that at least gave her relief."

The suspect then began to hit him in the head. Armed only with an aluminum measuring tool, Trice fought back. "We wrestled around a little bit and I got the pipe away from him and I tried to hit him but I guess there was so much blood on it that I couldn't hold onto it and he got it back. I had the piece of aluminum tubing and he had his pipe. We sat there and eye balled one another. Then he backed off, reached down, picked up his cap and he went out the back door.

Laura lay bleeding. Trice yelled for volunteers on the other side of the building to call police. Laura is in ICU but getting better.

Trice has a few cuts and bruises. He questions what he could've done differently but church leaders insist what he did do saved two lives.

Police Monday believed robbery might have been a motive for the crime but now say they've ruled that out. They believe this crime may turn out to be a senseless act with no apparent motive at all.

Amy Tat um reporting.

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