16-Year-Old Causes Alarm at Church Gathering

A grave incident unfolded at St Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Abbeville, Louisiana, during a communion service, leading to the arrest of a 16-year-old on charges of terrorizing the congregation.

The event occurred as sixty children gathered for their first Communion, a significant milestone in their faith journey. The tranquility of the ceremony was shattered when an armed teenager burst through the back door.

Alert parishioners sprang into action, confronting and disarming the intruder before pinning him down outside the church and holding him until law enforcement arrived.

The situation escalated when the apprehended youth hinted at the presence of another shooter nearby. This claim triggered a thorough search by the police, although no further suspects were discovered.

Authorities have since charged the teenager with terrorizing and two counts of juvenile firearm possession. He is currently under medical evaluation at a behavioral unit.

Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel of Lafayette praised the parishioners and the Abbeville Police Department for their decisive response. “We are thankful to God that a tragedy was avoided,” he stated, calling for prayers for an end to violence against innocents.

The tension-filled moments were captured on a live stream. Fr Nicholas DuPré was informed mid-prayer about the developing threat. He guided the congregation to recite the Hail Mary prayer multiple times for peace and protection as the police secured the church.

During the rising panic, a public announcement reassured the congregation: “Just get a hold of your child. Go slowly. We did apprehend a young man. He’s in custody. … Calm down, get next to your child, and go slowly.”

Reflecting on the ordeal, the church expressed gratitude to the parishioners and police for their swift actions, which ensured everyone’s safety. As a precaution, the church has stationed police officers at all future Masses.

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