A Houston priest, his wife and their young son were found dead in their apartment Monday, victims of a homicide that has shaken the city’s Episcopal community as police search for the killer, and a motive. The Rev. Israel Ahimbisibwe, 52, a towering and highly educated clergyman from Uganda, served as a chaplain at the University of Houston and pastored part-time at a small church, where members said they grew worried after he didn’t show up to lead their Sunday afternoon services.
They went to his apartment, and when no one answered, they contacted the building’s management, who called authorities. Ahimbisibwe’s congregation, the Church of the Redeemer, confirmed that the he’d been killed, along with his wife, Dorcus, and 5-year-old son, Jay. Ahimbisibwe and his wife also had two adult sons, Emmanuel and Issac, who were not living at the apartment at the time. One reportedly attends boarding school in California and the other had recently announced he was joining the Marines.
In Houston’s tight-knit Episcopal community, Ahimbisibwe was known as a soft-spoken but charismatic workhorse who often held several un-glamorous part-time jobs simultaneously. He was passionate and animated, but he spoke with an accent that was sometimes difficult for older parishioners to understand. That became an issue at the Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, where he led Sunday morning services and taught bible classes.