Bullets fired at Gaithersburg church in 2 separate incidents, police say

Montgomery County police say bullets were fired at a Gaithersburg church Thursday night. It is the second time it's happened this week.

On Wednesday evening, a parishioner attending a prayer service at the New Life Seventh Day Adventist Church on Muncaster Mill Road noticed a window at the entrance to the church shattered by what police later discovered was a bullet. Exactly when the damage was done is still unclear.

At around 11:13 p.m. Thursday, there was more gunfire as bullets hit the portico over the front door of the church as well as the cinder block wall on the left side of the front entrance.

Some police officers who were in the area heard the gunfire Thursday night.

"They observed damage to the front and sides of the church building," said Montgomery County Police Capt. Paul Starks. "They located bullet fragments near the church building and also located multiple shell casings on Muncaster Mill Road."

No one was injured in both of these incidents at New Life Seventh Day Adventist Church and its pastor says there have been no threats or any trouble.

"I have no idea what to make of it," said Pastor David Defoe. "This church has been in this community for almost 30 years. This building has been here since 2003 and we have a good relationship with our community. We do all kinds of community outreach events. We have one coming up on Sunday - our annual Thanksgiving drive, so I don't think anyone did it with malicious intent. We just don't know."

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call Montgomery County police's 6th District Investigative Section at 240-773-5770. Anonymous tips can also be left withCrime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).