Media reports indicate that one of the priests injured at Mother of Mercy Mission Catholic Church was in critical condition as of early Thursday morning. The other died of his gunshot wounds. (Source: KPHO/CNN)
Father Joseph Terra is in critical condition with unknown injuries. (Source: CNN)
Women pray the Rosary at the Mother of Mercy Mission Catholic Church after a priest was found dead. (Source: KPHO)
A priest was killed and another one injured in an attack at a Catholic church in Phoenix. (Source: KPHO)
(RNN) - One priest was hurt, and one was shot and killed in a Wednesday night shooting in a Phoenix Catholic church.
According to KPHO, the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix said the Rev. Kenneth Walker, 28, was killed and Priest Joseph Terra, 56, was critically injured at Mother of Mercy Mission Catholic Church.
Police say Terra was able to call 911 shortly after 9 p.m.
"Well, at this point I'm getting reports that the injured priest, the 58-year-old victim, is currently in critical but stable condition. We were able to speak with him briefly last night, despite the severe injury he has sustained," said Sgt. Steve Maros, Phoenix Police Department. " We got a little bit of information however, there will still be some time before we talk to him and gather more information."
Police found a 2003 green Mazda Tribute believed stolen from the church about three blocks away, according to KPHO. It was towed for processing.
The Associated Press reports Terra and Walker served as pastor and assistant pastor. They both lived in the church, which is located downtown Phoenix.
Police have not yet made any arrests.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said during a press conference on Thursday the killing "strikes our core."
The Catholic Diocese of Phoenix released the following statement:
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. Fr. Walker's life was taken. Fr. Terra remains in critical condition but stable. The reported attack occurred at Mater Misericordiae Mission in Phoenix. The police are still gathering information and trying to sort through the details of this senseless act of violence. We ask that people offer prayers for both priests, the religious community, their families and the parish. Eternal rest, grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.
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