FORT DODGE, Iowa – He was a pillar of hope to the community, extending his love and support to the law enforcement community. But on Wednesday night, he was beaten, robbed and left for dead outside of his Iowa church.
Now, members of the Blue Family across the Fort Dodge area are mourning his death.
ABC 9 reported that Allen Henderson was spotted lying unresponsive outside of the church building just after 6 p.m. on Wednesday evening. When police responded to the scene, they discovered Henderson bleeding on the ground.
Upon examining his injuries, they found that he had been the victim of what looked like a brutal assault. The 64-year-old pastor had been severely beaten and left for dead.
The Fort Dodge Police Dept. confirms Allen W. Henderson, the senior pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church and public safety agency chaplain, was found dead at his own chapel this evening. Police have charged a Ft. Dodge man with murder.
— We Are Iowa Local 5 (@weareiowa5news) October 3, 2019
Emergency crews at the scene performed CPR in an attempt to save the beloved member of the community. He was transferred to Unity Point Trinity Regional Medical Center, a local hospital, but a press release said that he later died from his wounds.
Investigators immediately began searching for Henderson’s killer.
“Due to the nature of the male’s injuries, Officers and Investigators on scene had reason to believe the circumstances surrounding the male’s death were suspicious. Information obtained from witnesses in the area, as well as other evidence, indicated a confrontation of some sort had occurred in or just outside the church. Shortly thereafter, the unresponsive male was located outside of the church,” the department said in a Facebook release.
Fort Dodge officers quickly began to canvass the area, and after a short time, managed to track down their suspect near the 1400 block of 4th Ave South. They made contact with their suspect and asked him to come down to the Webster County Law Enforcement Center for further questioning.
Did you know that Law Enforcement Today has a private new home for those who support emergency responders and veterans? It’s called LET Unity, and it’s where we share the untold stories of those patriotic Americans. Every penny gets reinvested into giving these heroes a voice. Check it out today.
Police identified the suspect as 36-year-old Joshua J. Pendleton of Fort Dodge. He was arrested in connection with the fatal fight and was charged with first degree murder and first degree robbery.
Pendleton is scheduled to appear before a court Thursday morning.
The Ford Dodge Police Department’s press release about the incident was posted to Facebook.
** MEDIA RELEASE **Case: FD19‐2933 – Murder 1st Degree and Robbery 1st Degree, St. Paul Lutheran Church, 400 South…
Henderson was the senior pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church and additionally served local law enforcement as a police chaplain.
“[He] will forever be remembered for his dedication and service for all of those he touched within this community and beyond,” a Facebook post from the department read. “He was a special person to many in our area.”
Our hearts go out to the Henderson family, the Fort Dodge community, and the brothers and sisters in blue that at mourning the loss of their beloved police chaplain.
Rest in peace, Pastor Henderson.
Pastor Al Henderson, Senior Pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, and long-time Chaplain for all area law enforcement and…
Anyone with additional information about the fatal encounter is being urged to contact local authorities.
“The Fort Dodge Police Department is continuing to investigate this incident. We encourage those who may have information to contact the police department. The Fort Dodge Police Department has been assisted in this investigation by the Webster County Sheriff’s Office and was assisted on scene by the Fort Dodge Fire Department.”
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!