A Ghanaian pastorhas been arrested on a murder charge after Orlando police say he shot and killed his 27-year-old wife outside her job at the Navy Federal Credit Union near the Mall at Millenia Tuesday morning.
Barbara Tommey was shot several times by her husband, Sylvester Ofori, near the business’ front doors on the 4600 block of Gardens Park Boulevard just before 9 a.m., an Orlando Police Department spokesperson said. Tommey was an employee of Navy Federal Credit Union, the spokesperson said.
Tommey was pronounced dead at Orlando Regional Medical Center shortly afterward.
Ofori, 35, was taken into custody at his apartment Tuesday evening, the OPD spokesperson said. He is being held at the Orange County Jail without bond on a charge of first degree murder with a firearm.
During a press conference Tuesday morning, Chief Orlando Rolón said the shooting was captured on video.
“You can tell that she was surprised by what was happening,” he said.
Word of Ofori’s arrest reached African news outlets, as he is a pastor at Floodgates of Heaven International Ministries, a church based in Parramore. Calling himself a prophet and motivational speaker, Ofori’s ministry has reached tens of thousands of people. His Facebook page has more than 60,000 followers and the church’s page has about 5,600.
A day before the shooting, a photo was posted to his page with the words, “One thing ppl gotta understand about extremely kind, nice, loving people is that their other side is just as EXTREME.”
Hundreds of people responded to the post after news broke of Tommey’s killing, some with prayers for her to rest in peace, others with anger or disbelief about what Ofori’s was accused of doing.
“This was a false prophet,” one commenter wrote. “God warned y’all about false prophets. [T]his guy deserves every pain he gets.”
Tommey is often mentioned on social media posts and by followers as Ofori’s “first lady.”
Few details surrounding the shooting have been released. Investigators during a Wednesday morning press conference did not release a motive or say whether there was a history of domestic violence of which OPD was aware, citing an active investigation.
“The background story and previous dealings with them, be it through our calls for service should there have been any or any previous incidents between them will be identified at a later time,” Detective Matthew Rogers said.
Rogers added Tommey and Ofori were in the middle of a divorce and she hadn’t lived at the apartment they shared for months. No records documenting their divorce could be found. The couple were married in September 2015, according to a marriage license.
Court records show Ofori hadn’t been previously arrested for domestic violence in Orange County, but was arrested in February 2016 by a deputy who saw him and Tommey arguing in a gas station parking lot.
He was charged with resisting without violence after insisting he be taken to jail, according to an affidavit.
The case was later dropped.