Floyd Palmer was charged in 2001 Baltimore shooting
Greg McDowell was shot while leading Bible study at World Changers Church International.
ATLANTA -- The family of World Changers shooting victim Greg McDowell feels like their emotions are being toyed with "like a yoyo" by the suspect's refusal to appear in court.
The suspect charged in Wednesday's shooting at World Changers Church International waived his first court appearance, again on Friday morning.
Floyd Palmer was supposed to appear Friday after waiving Thursday morning's scheduled appearance, then changing his mind. He changed his mind again Friday.
And for the second day in a row the family of victim Greg McDowell left the Fulton County Jail without a chance to see the man accused of his murder.
A family friend said it was like the suspect was sticking an emotional knife in them.
Friday afternoon the victim's Uncle, Rev. Jerome McDowell, made the family's first public statement.
His one reference to suspect Palmer was, "we trust at some point there will be a conviction."
Rev. McDowell also expressed the family's gratitude to the church, police and the community for their love and support.
"Mr. McDowell's wife, children, parent and family is doing about as well as can be expected, considering the ordeal," he said.
"We ask you to continue to pray for us through the days ahead," McDowell added.
He said a fund has been set up at any Regions Bank in the McDowell family name for his widow and two young sons, ages 4 and 7.
Meanwhile, the more we learn about the 51-year-old murder suspect, the harder the story is to believe.
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Palmer is charged with another shooting 11 years ago outside another place of worship in Baltimore, Md.
The shooting happened outside a mosque in June 2001. According to a police report, Palmer walked up behind 26-year-old Reuben Ash and fired one shot, striking him in the back.
Ash is now Reuben Mohamad. He told 11Alive News what happened.
"He came up behind me and I heard a gunshot and I felt the bullet go in my back," he said by telephone from Baltimore.
Mohamad said he and Palmer were doing a security job at the mosque where they both worshiped. He said after he was shot, he fell to the ground and rolled over.
"When I turned around, I had no idea that it was Floyd (who shot me)," he said. "It really shocked me that he was the one who shot me."
Mohamad said what happened next was a stroke of luck. "He put the gun to my head and the gun jammed," he said. "He un-cocked (the gun) and put it back to my head and it jammed again."
According to the police report, Palmer ran from the parking lot, leaving Mohamad on the ground. He was paralyzed from the waist down.
Palmer was committed to a psychiatric hospital in 2004 after pleading not criminally responsible to the mosque shooting. He spent two years there and was released by a judge in 2006.
In a psychiatric report, Palmer told doctors he shot Mohamad because he thought Mohamad was hired by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis to get rid of him.
Palmer said the mosque shooting occurred because one of his cousins was killed in Atlanta shortly after the 2000 Super Bowl. Lewis was charged in the stabbing deaths of Richard Lollar and Jacinth Baker outside a Buckhead nightclub. He was exonerated of murder charges and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor obstruction.
Reuben Mohamad said the Ray Lewis story doesn't make sense. "It was just ridiculous," he said. "I don't know Ray Lewis, didn't never have anything to do with Ray Lewis."
Now Palmer is charged with murder in connection with Wednesday's church shooting in south Fulton County. Police say he walked into a prayer service and shot 39-year-old Greg McDowell several times, killing him.
Mohamad said he wasn't surprised when he heard Palmer was arrested. "It really wasn't shocking because I always knew that Floyd was very dangerous," he said.
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