Gunman Stopped After Entering Louisiana Catholic Church During Mass

( – In February, shots rang out at pastor Joel Osteen’s megachurch in Houston, Texas, leaving at least one person dead and multiple others injured — including a seven-year-old boy. More recently, a gunman walked into a church in Pennsylvania and fired upon a pastor who was performing his sermon. These are just two examples of recent church attacks.

On May 11, a 16-year-old teen walked into a Louisiana Catholic church during Mass armed with a shotgun. Luckily, he was stopped by parishioners before anyone was injured, and police took him into custody. The incident took place during a first holy communion celebration at St. Mary Magdalen church in Abbeville. The teen was taken to the hospital for evaluation and later charged with terrorizing and possession of a firearm.

Video of the ordeal showed the priest ducking for cover and a member of the congregation instructing parishioners to gather their kids, explaining that police already had the suspect in custody. Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel released a statement following the frightening event, thanking God that “tragedy was avoided.” He also commended the Abbeville Police Department for its quick response. The holy man then asked readers to “pray for an end to all threats of violence” against innocent people. Deshotel also spoke directly to his congregation in a separate message where he explained that the suspect had entered the church through an “opened back door.” He said Chief Mike Hardy was investigating the matter and warned there would be uniformed officers at “all upcoming Masses” for precautionary purposes.

Catholic Arena shared a video clip of the incident on social media, calling the 16-year-old an “anti-Catholic terrorist.” However, police have not determined a motive for the teen’s actions, and it’s also unclear why the officers felt it necessary to take the boy to the hospital for evaluation.

Several law enforcement agencies and the FBI are reportedly helping Hardy with the investigation.

Copyright 2024,