4 Stabbed at Church in Albuquerque During Sunday Mass, Police Say

Monday, 29 Apr 2013 08:41 AM

By Michael Mullins

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At least four people were stabbed during Sunday mass at a church in Albuquerque, N.M., after a man went on a rampage during the service's closing hymns, according to authorities.

Around noon, 24-year-old Lawrence Capener allegedly leapt over several pews and attacked the choir, stabbing at least four members multiple times. Capener is not a parishioner at the Catholic church, authorities said.

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Parishioners at St. Jude Thaddeus Parish tackled the suspect to the ground as they waited for police to arrive, according to Albuquerque Police Department spokesperson Tasia Martinez.

"The scene was chaotic when officers arrived and it was quickly ascertained that numerous parishioners essentially jumped on the male offender and held him down until officers arrived," Martinez said.

Police have not yet determined a motive for the attack.

All four stabbing victims were taken to local hospitals, where it was determined they had non-life threatening injuries, NBC News reported.

The victims include church choir director Adam Alvarez, flutist Gerald Madrid, and two other parishioners, the Associated Press reported.

The names of the two church parishioners have not been released by officials, but one of the victims was an off-duty firefighter who sustained a laceration to the scalp, the ABQ Journal reported.

According to choir pianist Brenda Baca King, Capener "was looking at our lead soloist" before he allegedly he attacked the group.

"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 told KRQE-TV.

"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," Archbishop of Santa Fe Michael Sheehan said in a statement Sunday afternoon. "I pray for all who have been harmed, their families, the parishioners and that nothing like this will ever happen again."

More than 1,000 people were inside the church when the attack occurred, KRQE-TV reported.

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