The shooter in the 2022 Vestavia Hills church shooting has pled guilty to three counts of capital murder and will serve the rest of his life behind bars.

In June 2022, a lone gunman fired on a small group meeting at Vestavia Hills' Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church before being taken into custody.

The shooter, Robert Findlay Smith, 71, reportedly attended a "Boomers Potluck" where he sat alone. After being approached by a parishioner to invite Smith to sit with the group, he refused. Not long after, Smith opened fire on attendees with a handgun before being subdued.

One person was pronounced dead on the scene. Two others were rushed to UAB Hospital in Birmingham, both later dying.

His motives have never been disclosed.

Smith pled guilty to capital murder on Tuesday and waived his right to appeal.

The Associated Press reported that defense attorney Emory Anthony apologized on behalf of Smith.

"We're so thankful to the families of each one of those victims because they agreed to allow him to plead to life," Anthony stated. "He could have been facing the death penalty. So they did not just talk about being Christians, they acted as Christians. I know it's hurtful to each one of the family members, but we say thanks to each one of them."

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.