The murder-suicide involving the Nigerian doctor, Benjamin Okigbo, and his wife, Theresa, sparked reactions from the pastor and members of the Epiphany Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas.
It was previously reported that Okigbo, a doctor, shot his licensed nurse wife, Theresa, at their Greatwood residence on Friday.
According to Sugar Land Police in Texas, the deceased also attempted to kill his 21-year-old sons by strangling them after shooting his wife.
The children survived the attack with non-fatal wounds.
“Friday morning, a daughter, who does not live at home, went later, she was worried. She was not injured.
“Someone in the house called 9-1-1 Friday morning around 10:00 from home in Brookstone Lane’s 1500 block. When the agents arrived, they found the couple’s bodies inside. They were both 50 years old.
“A neighbor said he was originally from Nigeria but had lived in the Greatwood house for about 20 years. He said he spoke to his wife a few days ago and nothing seemed out of the ordinary, ”police said.
As he reacted to the tragedy, the rector, Patrick Hall, complained that their deaths devastated the church.
“The causes of pain in 2020 appear to be multiplying,” Hall said on the church’s Facebook page. “I am very sad to inform you that Ben and Theresa Okigbo died this morning in their Sugarland home. Their sons Peter and Paul were transported to Memorial Sugarland Hospital but have since been released.
“I am currently with my sister Laura, entrusted to the care of Uncle Ben Okoh. This news is devastating for our Epiphany family, especially for many of our Nigerian members, whose lives and hearts have been so deeply touched by Ben and Theresa.
“We have no good answers, only broken hearts to take to our Lord Jesus. And there is no better place for our broken hearts than in his care.
“I assured Ben and Laura that their Epiphany family is ready to surround them with grace and mercy and to be of every possible help to these three children who will now face the loss of two parents. Keep them in your prayers. More information will follow as plans are prepared. “
Reacting to the pastor’s condolences, church members and friends of the deceased expressed shock and grief at the tragedy.
“I’m so sorry, Patrick,” wrote Carole Chalfant Mather. “I said a prayer when I first heard the news, but I will pray for the children again. It’s such a sad thing to happen. Those children must be traumatized. Many prayers for them “.
Norma Johnson said: “I wish she had received mental health support and asked for help. I knew Ben and met his family when the boys were baptized. She worked with my husband for many years and had lunch with him regularly. My heart goes out to his friends and family. We’ll miss him. Peace be with you.”
“Ohhh, God. This is sad. The worst result of domestic violence in Nigerian families. It is so obvious. Victims hide their faces in shame instead of seeking help. Is help available? Where is it? When? As? The community of Nigeria in the diaspora needs it. Peter, Paul and Laura, my heart goes out to you ”, Lucia Otti.
“Ben Okigbo should have divorced my aunt, why take this action?” Jideofor Kenechukwu Ofili wrote. “May their souls rest in peace, I pray for the rest of their souls.”
“Devastating to read this. My prayers are with the family. Simply shocking, “said Marla Huseman Grace.