A 28-year-old priest was shot and killed and another critically wounded at a Catholic church in Phoenix on Wednesday, a police spokesman said.
The Rev. Kenneth Walker was fatally shot, and the Rev. Joseph Terra is hospitalized in critical condition, police and church officials said in a statement.
A 911 call came in about 9 p.m. Wednesday from the Mater Misericordiae (Mother of Mercy Mission Catholic Church,) Sgt. Steve Martos of the Phoenix Police Department said.
The 911 call was for a burglary and was made by Terra. It was unclear if Terra made the phone call before or after he was severally injured.
When police arrived, they found the two priests injured. Walker died at the hospital.
The crime scene was inside the church’s living quarters, not in the sanctuary, Martos said.
Terra, a 56-year-old man was “physically harmed” but not stabbed or shot, authorities said early Thursday.
Terra was only able to minimally speak with authorities about what happened, Martos said. The priority is for him to be treated.
“Hopefully, once that individual receives treatment and is able to pull through, we can gather more information,” Martos said.
A car that police were seeking in connection with the attack was found about four blocks north of the church, Martos said. It was spotted by KPNX-TV reporter Chris Williams, who alerted police.
The car was unoccupied when it was found, and Martos said no suspects have been arrested.
“We are stunned and deeply saddened to learn of the tragic assault perpetrated last night against Fr. Joseph Terra and Fr. Kenneth Walker, two religious order priests who belong to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter,” the Diocese of Phoenix said in a released statement early Thursday morning.
2 Phoenix Priests Attacked, 1 Killed After 911 Burglary Call
One priest is dead and another is critically injured after someone shot them late Wednesday night. The priests had called 911 to report a burglary.
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