Man stabs choir members at end of church service
(CNN) — Mass had just ended at St. Jude Thaddeus Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the choir had begun its closing hymns when it happened.
A 24-year-old man jumped several pews and rushed toward the choir with a knife in his hand, screaming, “Fake preacher!”
He stabbed four choir members during the attack Sunday morning — before several parishioners jumped on the suspect and held him down until officers arrived.
“I looked up, and I saw a young man with a very scary look in his eyes — fury, anger, hatred,” choir member Brenda King told CNN affiliate KOAT. “He had a knife and was attacking our soloist, and our flutist tried to protect him and got stabbed also.”
Gerald Madrid, the flutist, told the affiliate from his hospital bed that he was stabbed five times in the back.
“I just instinctively dropped my flute and I charged the guy,” Madrid said. “And I got him into a bear hug and pinned him against the wall.
“But he was much taller than I am.”
Albuquerque police said the suspect, Lawrence Capener, faces numerous felony charges.
He wasn’t a church member and police didn’t know what prompted the attack.
Some parishioners told the station he was yelling, “Fake preacher.”
One said he accused the choir of working with the devil.
Fortunately, all four victims suffered non-life threatening injuries.