Manhunt Underway for Florida Suspect Who Murdered Pastor, 2 Others

murder suspect Andres Avalos
Police are looking for this man, Andres Avalos, who is suspected in the shooting deaths of his wife, a pastor and another woman. (Manatee County Sheriff's Office)
A search is underway for a man suspected in the fatal shooting of a pastor at a Florida church, as well as the murders of his wife and another woman at a nearby home. Authorities conducting the search are investigating a triple homicide on the state's Gulf Coast.
Sheriff's deputies responded to reports of a church shooting around 1:20 p.m., according to a news release. While at the scene, they learned about two more people slain at a nearby home in Bradenton, located about 45 miles south of Tampa.
Police were searching for Andres "Andy" Avalos, 33, who may be armed and dangerous, Dave Bristow, a spokesman for the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, told reporters.
He was last seen driving a gold 2003 Chevrolet Suburban in Bradenton, authorities said.
The male victim was James Battle, 31, a pastor at Bayshore Baptist Church in Bradenton, where the shooting occurred outside a residence on the grounds used as an office, Bristow said.
According to the church website, Battle went by the nickname "Tripp." His wife was the church secretary, and they had two young children.
Also killed was Amber Avalos, 33, the wife of the suspect, who was the church's nursery and children's director, according to the website, which said she and her husband had six children.
Authorities said the children were in protective custody.
The third victim was identified as Denise Potter, 46, a neighbor, according to local media reports. The killings appeared to involve a domestic dispute, authorities told reporters.
© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

To contact us or to submit an article, click here.

Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective