Houston & Peach

Violent crime in Warner Robins prompts prayers for protection, healing

'People are scared,' Warner Robins pastor says amid violent crime

Warner Robins pastor hopes to reclaim community amid spate of violent crime
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Warner Robins pastor hopes to reclaim community amid spate of violent crime

WARNER ROBINS — Songs about faith and healing were joined by prayers for protection at a church where the public was invited Tuesday evening for a special service following three recent shooting deaths here.

About 65 people of all ages gathered at Harvest Church on U.S. 41 for "The Gathering," a weekly evening service that was augmented for the circumstances.

"People are scared. They're nervous," Executive Pastor Jennifer Cowart said. "We may not know what we can do to be proactive, but one thing we can do is pray. ... Pray for the families that are hurting."

The three slain men were all in their 20s.

Vincent D. Junior, 28, was shot to death at Tanglewood Apartments on Jan. 13. While investigators combed the crime scene on Elberta Road, another man was killed less than a mile away.

Janak "Jack" Kumar Patel, 25, was shot to death inside the Chevron gas station where he worked.

Then, on Sunday, 23-year-old Parker K. Moore was shot to death during an armed robbery at Barberitos on Watson Boulevard. Another employee was shot in the head but is expected to survive.

Warner Robins Police have been looking since Jan. 18 for 27-year-old Daniel Bruce Franz II, who was charged in Junior's killing. Police said Tuesday it's possible Franz is responsible for all three slayings.

Early before dawn on Tuesday, a Waffle House on South Houston Lake Road was robbed by three men.

"Waffle House, Barberitos, there are places that everybody in the community goes," said Cowart, who moved from Columbus to start the church 2001. "I kind of think of Warner Robins as being a little bit in a bubble and now it has affected us, and we want to be proactive in trying to reclaim our community for safety and for families."