EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – The pastor at an East St. Louis church where a teenager was killed in a shootout on Sunday says he’s never seen violence at the house of worship in his 16-year tenure.

Following Sunday service at Pilgrim Green Missionary Baptist Church, two teens were inside the church cafeteria when they got into an argument. The situation escalated, as both teens pulled out guns and opened fire.

An 18-year-old was wounded, and a 16-year-old was killed. A 54-year-old innocent bystander was also wounded.

“My immediate reaction is it just leaves you shocked. It just really caught us totally off guard,” Pastor John Ford said. “Someone came back in, ran back in through the opening doors, informing us that someone shooting. As I walked in, I saw one young man laying there. I saw two young men down. it was a lot of excitement, a lot of emotion, and so trying to make sense of what’s going on here.”

Ford says he tried to comfort the victims and waited for what seemed like an eternity for police and ambulances to arrive.

The 16-year-old who was killed was at the church with his mother.

“It hurt me to even realize that here’s the mother and her son, come to the church seeking fellowship, I believe they come for better change, and then this takes place,” Ford said.

“The church is going to survive, because we do have faith, we trust in God to carry us even higher, and our determination is even stronger.”