PHOENIX, Ariz. — A priest was killed and another critically wounded in an attack at Mother of Mercy Catholic church here.
Father Kenneth Walker was fatally shot, and Father Joseph Terra is hospitalized in critical condition, officials said. It was not clear what type of weapon was used to attack Terra, said police.
A 911 call to police was for a burglary and was made by Father Terra. It was unclear if Terra made the phone call before or after he was injured.
When police arrived, they found the two priests badly injured. Walker died at the hospital.
Terra, the injured priest, was only able to minimally speak with authorities about what happened, said police. The priority is for him to be treated.
Police said they know whether there was a break-in or if someone opened the door, but declined to release that detail. A green 2003 Mazda Tribute was stolen from church property, police said, and it was found abandoned. The vehicle is being examined for clues, but as of Thursday morning, nothing significant had been found.
"The police are still gathering information and trying to sort through the details of this senseless act of violence," the Diocese of Phoenix said in a statement. "We ask that people offer prayers for both priests, the religious community, their families and the parish."