LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Last Sunday, the 67-year-old mother of Pastor De Lone Straham was gunned down in the front of the church's location in Aurora while coming out of the building to help a man who crashed his car.

Destiny Christian Center has 100 to 120 parishioners, many of them gathered Sunday to celebrate the life of the woman known as Mama Jo.

"Of course it makes me sad, why God, why this why that ," Yolanda Marant, a church member, said. "But God does everything for a reason and a purpose, it could've been another way. God could've came in, it could've been the children, it could've been me, it could've been Tarell [Martin], it could've been my pastor, so for whatever reason God did what he did."

Straham says he isn't sure if the church will return to its Aurora location near Havana Street and Parker Road. For the next three weeks, the services will be held at a church in Denver.

"I always tell people, in times when tragedy comes or in times when things get hard, I always go back to the faithfulness of God," Straham said. "Because we understand no matter what we go through, God is always with us and we do live this thing called life, everything is not going to be easy, everything is not going to be simple."

The wake for Echols is Tuesday and the funeral will be held Wednesday.

Aurora Police say 29-year-old Kiarron Parker of Denver shot and killed Echols.

Parker was then shot and killed by Antonio Milow, an off-duty Denver Police officer. Milow is a member of the church and Echols' nephew.

The Arapahoe County Coroner's office says Parker and Echols both died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Officials say there is no apparent connection between the church and Parker.

9NEWS has learned Parker has an extensive criminal history that includes several felony charges for buying and possession of drugs including cocaine.He had been arrested in several jurisdictions, including Denver, Aurora, Arapahoe and Adams counties. He had been to jail several times.

Parker was last released from jail in October 2011 in Oklahoma after he served time for charges of assault and battery of a police officer and several counts of burglary.

Parker would have been locked up until 2021 in Oklahoma, but his sentence was suspended after a judicial review.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE