Quantcast

Tuesday, July 29, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 2 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Man charged in Albuquerque church stabbings

By Russell Contreras

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 08:58 a.m. HST, Apr 29, 2013


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. » Just as the St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church choir began its final hymn, a man vaulted over pews and lashed out at the singers, sending several churchgoers to the hospital with stab wounds, authorities said.

Worshippers screamed as the shocking and chaotic scene unfolded Sunday with the attacker continuing the onslaught until he was tackled and held by church members for officers, who raced to the scene, police said.

Four parishioners were injured, including church choir director Adam Alvarez and flutist Gerald Madrid, police spokesman Robert Gibbs said. All four were treated at hospitals and listed in stable condition.

Three other church members also were evaluated by Albuquerque Fire Department on scene and didn't go to the hospital, investigators said.

Police identified the suspect as Lawrence Capener, 24. He was charged late Sunday on three counts with aggravated battery and ordered held on $75,000 bail.

Court records do not list an attorney for Capener.

It was not immediately known what sparked the bizarre attack at the 11 a.m. Sunday Mass on the city's west side.

St. Jude Thaddeus' pastor, the Rev. John Daniel, said Capener's mother was "very active" in the parish and serves as a Eucharistic minister there.

"He was here occasionally but not very often," Daniel said.

Daniel said that Capener had just graduated from a community college and appeared to be doing well after getting a job.

An off-duty firefighter and others at the church held Capener down until police arrived.

Madrid told KOB-TV that he tried to stop Capener by wrapping his arms around him but was stabbed in the neck and back.

"I bear-hugged him. We were chest on chest. I was wrapping about to take him down to ground, but I didn't have his arms. I had just my arms around his chest, so his arms were free. So that's when he started stabbing me," he said.

Madrid said he thought the suspect was punching him. It wasn't until other parishioners rushed the man that Madrid realized he had been stabbed five times.

The choir's pianist, Brenda Baca King, told KRQE-TV that the attacker was looking at the lead soloist. "I just remember seeing him hurdle over the pews, hurdle over people and run (toward) us and I thought, 'Oh my God, this is not good,'" Baca King said.

Daniel said he didn't see the attack because he had turned his back away from the congregation in order to return the sacrament in the tabernacle.

Archbishop of Santa Fe Michael Sheehan released a statement Sunday afternoon saying he was saddened by the attack.

"This is the first time in my 30 years serving as archbishop in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and as bishop of Lubbock, that anything like this has occurred," Sheehan said. "I pray for all who have been harmed, their families, the parishioners and that nothing like this will ever happen again," Sheehan said.

Daniel said Mass schedule has resumed at the church. A 6 p.m. Mass is scheduled today at the 3,000 member church, he said.







 Print   Email   Comment | View 2 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(2)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
Maili2 wrote:
There is little sanctity left in this world. Fewer and fewer places where you can go and be safe and feel connected. I am giving up that sense of false security that i used to have, thinking that I am safe to walk around and safe to be. Stay safe everyone!
on April 29,2013 | 07:18AM
hybrid1 wrote:
Guns kill people, (26 in Connecticut). People with knives usually do not.
on April 29,2013 | 07:47AM
IN OTHER NEWS
Breaking News
Blogs
Political Radar
`My side’

Political Radar
‘He reminds me of me’

Bionic Reporter
Needing a new knee

Warrior Beat
Monday musings

Small Talk
Burning money

Political Radar
On policy

Warrior Beat
Apple fallout