A 28-year-old priest, Fr. Kenneth Walker, FSSP, was shot and killed and another wounded at a Catholic church Wednesday night near the state Capitol, a Phoenix police spokesman said.
Police were responding to a burglary call shortly after 9 p.m. near 16th Avenue and Monroe Street at the Mater Misericordiae (Mother of Mercy) Mission, Sgt. Steve Martos said.
The wounded priest, Fr. Joseph Terra, FSSP, is in critical condition at a local hospital, police said. Police said early Thursday morning that the surviving priest, a 56-year-old man, was “physically harmed” but not stabbed or shot.
The surviving priest called 911, police said.
A car that police were seeking in connection with the attack was found at 17th Avenue and Taylor Street, about four blocks north of the church, Martos said. It was spotted by 12 News reporter Chris Williams, who alerted police.
The car was unoccupied when it was found, and Martos said no suspects have been arrested.
The Diocese of Phoenix released this 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. Amen.