VAN NUYS CA May 15 2013— A security guard shot and wounded a man he said was acting suspiciously outside a Van Nuys church Sunday morning.
The shooting occurred about 8 a.m., an hour before services were to begin, outside The Church On The Way located near Sherman Way and Hazeltine.
The guards followed the man off church property. They said they shot when he threatened them with a four-inch knife.
They also accused the 20-something suspect of trying to ransack church cabinets and burglarize the property.
CBS2′s Art Barron spoke to witnesses.
Michelle Cano said, “I just heard a gunshot. I didn’t know it was a gunshot, but then I looked outside my window and I saw a guy fall.”
She added, “They took him away and … they closed down the whole side of my apartment [building]“
LAPD Rob Bub said four security guards confronted the man, and “he had a four-inch knife and he started to come at them.”
Officials described the suspect as a transient.
The suspect was shot once in the chest. He ran and collapsed about a half block away. He was taken to Holy Cross Medical Center.
LAPD’s Bub says the suspect is out of surgery and is reportedly in critical condition.
Barron reported the man had no ID on his person and officials are still trying to determine his identity.
Birmingham AL May 7 2013 A 75-year-old man was shot to death this morning while landscaping in southwest Birmingham.
Police said it appeared to be a robbery.
Witnesses reported hearing three shots and finding Birl Jackson slumped over the wheel of his Chevy pickup truck in the parking lot of Zion Star Missionary Baptist Church.
Jackson had been cutting grass in the area surrounding the church and the King Manor Apartments. It was unclear where he was shot, but apparently made his way to the truck afterward.
His grandson was working with him, and heard three shots. He turned around to see Jackson behind the wheel of truck.
Jackson’s sister, Effie Hodge, said: “I don’t know what happened. They said he came around the corner gasping for breath.”
Jackson left in an ambulance, but was pronounced dead on arrival at UAB.
Homicide detectives were on the scene.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. April 30 2013 (AP) — 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. Monday Mass is scheduled at the 3,000 member church, he said.
ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. April 6 2013 – A man who worked as a youth worker at a church is charged with raping one of the children who attended the church, according to the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office.
Ashtabula police would not immediately confirm the fatality; an officer answering the telephone would say only that authorities were investigating.
The Plain Dealer newspaper in Cleveland reported that the church’s pastor said congregants were leaving when they heard a gunshot.
There were no immediate reports of any other injuries. Howard said the church has about 175 members. He said people at the church didn’t know what led up to the shooting. “It’s such a tragic loss,” Crockett said.
MONTGOMERY, AL Jan 29 2013
The Montgomery Police Department is looking for two robbery suspects accused of stealing cash at gunpoint from a church early Monday morning.
The armed robbery occurred at Maggie Street Baptist Church.
Authorities say a handful of employees were at the house of worship when the two men, one of them armed and masked, stole the money collected during Sunday’s offering. Both men fled the scene on foot.
One of the church employees was struck by one of the suspects, but police say there were no injuries. Police won’t say how much money was taken.
“Any kind of a robbery, in general, is a terrible thing, but especially when it happens at a church like this,” said MPD spokeswoman Sgt. Regina Duckett. “This church is here for the community, and here for outreach purposes,” she added. “It is obviously something we’re not very proud to have happen here.”
Police do not have any suspects in custody at this time and they weren’t able to provide a detailed description of the robbers. If you have any information about this robbery, call CrimeStoppers at 215-STOP.
Killingly, Conn. Jan 5 2013
A Brooklyn resident was arrested after an incident at a Killingly church where state police say the man stripped and presented himself nude to congregants and a group of school students.
Officers were called to St. James Catholic Church around 1:45 p.m. Wednesday. A caller reported the suspect disrobed and entered the Water Street church, police said in a press release.
Gary Pohronezny, 41, of 70 Proulx St., Brooklyn, was arrested after failing to comply with several directives given to him by troopers. He was charged with disorderly conduct, risk of injury to minors, and interfering with police. He is scheduled to appear in Danielson Superior Court on Jan. 10.
Pohronezny was taken to Day Kimball Hospital in Putnam for evaluation, police said.
WEST COLUMBIA, S.C.Dec 31 2012 (AP) — Two South Carolina are out on bond after being arrested on charges of stealing steel beams worth more than $10,000 from a church near West Columbia where similar thefts had occurred four times in the past.
The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department says deputies arrested a 49-year-old man from Lexington and a 28-year-old man from West Columbia on one count each of grand larceny. Deputies say Raymond Wayne Welch and Michael James Hall were arrested Friday and released Saturday from jail after each posted a $20,000 bond.
Sheriff James Metts says the two were arrested after deputies saw them place steel beams on a trailer they had parked outside the House of Praise. Steel beams had been stolen from the church four times in the past and sold for recycling.
ROXBORO, N.C. Dec 29 2012– The Person County Sheriff’s Office has charged a Christian youth ministry volunteer with statutory rape.
Thirty-eight-year-old David Solomon made a court appearance Thursday, but could not make his $100,000 bond.
Investigators said his alleged victim is under the age of 14.
Officials said Solomon was a volunteer with Youth for Christ, a popular youth ministry in Roxboro, for two years.
The director told ABC11 Thursday Solomon and his alleged victim met through their families before the teen started attending programs at Youth for Christ.
Despite background checks and training, the alleged victim’s mother found suspicious text messages on a cell phone.
The sheriff’s office is also looking into whether other children may be involved.
DURHAM NC Dec 9 2012 — The Durham County Sheriff’s Department said two men have been arrested for allegedly stealing copper from churches and other public buildings.
Authorities said the thefts occurred throughout the month of November at the following churches and buildings in Rougemont and Bahama:
- Kingdom Hall Jehovah’s Witness (114 Bowen Rd, Rougemont)
- Red Mountain Baptist Church (1322 Red Mountain Rd, Rougemont)
- Praise and Deliverance Church (10855 Quail Roost Rd, Bahama)
- New Red Mountain Missionary Baptist Church (1401 Red Mountain Rd, Rougemont)
- Bahama Ruritan Club (8202 Stagville Rd, Bahama)
- Knap of Reeds Masonic Lodge (158 Bahama Rd, Bahama)
The suspects were arrested after a weeks long investigation, which included a parallel investigation with The Person County Sheriff’s Department. Source:WTVD
CHARLOTTE, NC Dec 8 2012 (AP) – Authorities in Lincoln County say a registered sex offender has been arrested for attending church.
The Charlotte Observer reports (http://bit.ly/RF2C5f ) that 38-year-old James Dwight Bandy of Newton was arrested this week on charges of being a sex offender at or near child premises.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said detectives were contacted earlier this month by Catawba County sheriff’s deputies who said Bandy had been instructed not to be within 300 feet of children’s classes.
Instead, investigators said Bandy attended worship services and also went to Sunday school class on successive Sundays at a Lincolnton church.
Deputies say that put Bandy within 300 feet of the church’s daycare and children’s Sunday school classes. He was arrested Wednesday and released on $5,000 bond. It’s not known if Bandy has an attorney.
Kimrey is being held at the Catawba County Detention Center under a $1,200 secured bond.
LOUISVILLE, KY Sept 8 2012 - We are learning more about the victim’s families and the church where Thursday’s deadly dispute took place. One family is planning a funeral while another is keeping a vigil at the hospital.
We now know who the victims are. David Merritt, 73, was killed. Neighbors said he was the Home Owner’s Association President. The other victim, Marvin Fisher, was in the hospital in critical condition Friday evening. Neighbors said he is the Homeowner’s Association Vice President.
The nightmare was still painfully real for Merritt’s nephew, Shaun.
“We lost a very good man last night,” he said.
Thursday night, police said suspect Mahmoud Yousef Hindi walked into a Homeowners Association meeting of about nine people inside the Springdale Community Church and when he shot the two men. By the time the suspect was subdued by a retired police officer, Shaun’s uncle, Merritt, was dead.
“Dave, he was a gentle man. A very caring man,” Shaun said. “He was willing to give back to the community in any way he could.”
An uncle he said enjoyed several things, “We went up to a Reds ball game about 6-8 weeks ago. He enjoyed baseball. Loved baseball,” said Shaun.
Neighbors said Fisher was taken to University Hospital.
“And is in very critical condition at this point. Life threatening injuries,” Louisville Metro Police Homicide detective, Lt. Barry Wilkerson said in a press conference Friday afternoon.
“Thoughts and prayers need to be with him also and his family because they’re struggling just as bad as we are,” Shaun said.
Faith is at the forefront at Springdale Community Church after such tragedy in a place of worship and a community deeply cared for.
“The hardest part is just for the victims and their families. That’s always the hardest part of any kind of tragedy. And in response to it is trying to minister to them and show love to them and care for them,” Jason Autry, Lead pastor at Springdale Community Church said. “Precautions. We’re working on that. There’s nothing in the immediate that we could do. It was a meeting that’s held here. It’s held here monthly.”
Weekend services will go on as usual. Through the pain.
“There’s another family that’s affected by this. That’s the shooter’s family. Don’t have any hard-will against them,” Shaun said. “It’ll take a while to get back to normal,” Shaun said.
Funeral arrangements for Merritt are pending.
Officers responded to the Santa Clara Apostolic Temple at 60 Santa Clara Avenue around 10:20 pm.
Police say it appears that a security guard caught a burglar in the basement and shot him.
We’re told his condition is serious.
Homicide detectives were sent to the scene to investigate.
COLUMBIA, SC Aug 7 2012 - Columbia Police have arrested two men accused of firing shots at two people sitting in a vehicle Saturday.
David Martin and Timothy Thompson, Jr. are charged with attempted murder.
Police say a church was hosting an event in the 1500 block of Fontaine Rd. when Thompson and Martin fired shots into a vehicle parked at the location. It happened at about 3 p.m. Saturday.
Police say nobody was hurt.
The motive for the shooting is still being investigated.
Fort Lauderdaqle Fla July 31 2012 Joshua T. King was at church on Sunday but not for the right reasons.
The 25-year-old man was arrested Sunday morning after he was found inside a closet at First Baptist Church at 301 E. Broward Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale.
King is facing one charge of burglary in an occupied dwelling after a security guard unlocked a storage room and found him there. He was found with multiple driver licenses in his name: two from Florida and four from New York.
During Sunday School while children were in the playground area, teachers asked the security guard to unlock the storage closet and retrieve toys for them, the arrest report states.
“When he unlocked the door, he could smell and see urine in the basket on the kids’ tricycle,” the report states.
The security guard said he then noticed King was hiding behind props and toys “in an attempt to conceal himself.”
The students and teachers were evacuated.
According to the report, King was in the closet “hiding from people” when he felt the need to go to the restroom. Because he did not want to leave the room, he urinated in the tricycle basket.
He was also found with a pair of scissors he said he was going to use to cut his clothes.
During Monday’s bond court hearing, King was adamant about not paying the bond amount set at $5,000.
“I’m not paying the $5,000 fine, that’s outrageous,” King said. “It has nothing to do with me.”
Broward County Judge John “Jay” Hurley lowered his bond amount to $3,500.
In an exchange with Hurley, King maintained his innocence.
“I didn’t break in, the door was open,” King said.
“Clearly he doesn’t know the elements to burglary,” Hurley said in response.
King is being held at Broward County’s Main Jail.
Pa. church, pastor charged in fake kidnapping, intended as lesson in religious persecution www.privateofficer.com
The Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Middletown and 28-year-old Andrew David Jordan of Elizabethtown were charged Friday with false imprisonment and simple assault, said Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico.
The church staged the event in March. Mock kidnappers covered the teenagers’ heads, put them in a van and interrogated them. Neither the young people nor their parents were told beforehand that it wasn’t real. The mother of a 14-year-old girl filed a complaint with police.
“This is a sad case for all those involved,” Marsico said, adding that while the church’s and Jordan’s intentions were not necessarily harmful, “they in essence terrorized several children.”
“We need to protect children, no matter where the harm occurs,” Marsico said, adding that a grand jury recommended the charges. He noted that some of the teenagers in the group were not members of the church, and that a semi-automatic rifle was displayed in the exercise.
A message left at the church was not immediately returned, and there was no phone listing for Jordan. Neither were defense attorneys listed on court papers.
Glad Tidings pastor John Lanza said in March that the church was “so saddened” that youth were traumatized during the event, but added that other youth from the church sent emails of support. The church is about 10 miles outside Harrisburg. Lanza said the goal of the exercise was to prepare the youth for what they might encounter as missionaries in foreign countries. He didn’t disclose the names of those involved but said the mock kidnappers included an off-duty police officer and a retired Army captain.
“It was a youth event, to illustrate what others have encountered on a regular basis,” he said, adding that the focus of the lesson was “the persecuted church” in other countries.
Lanza said the church had conducted similar events at least twice before, without complaints.
Christopher Guardado was taken into custody after two girls, under the age of 14, contacted police and said he molested them repeatedly over the course of two years.
Guardado, 48, volunteered as a bible studies teacher at the Calvary Chapel Pacific Coast in Westminster for the past couple of years.
Guardado was charged on Monday with two felony counts of lewd acts with a minor. He is being held on $1 million bail.
His arraignment is set for Aug. 3.
Anyone with information to call detectives at (714) 741-5800.
Former New Orleans pastor sentenced to 10 years in prison in theft of $1 million dollars www.privateofficer.com
NEW ORLEANS LA July 13 2012 (AP) – A former New Orleans pastor has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing nearly $1 million in disaster loan payments meant to rebuild a church after Hurricane Katrina.
Toris Young pleaded guilty in January to theft of government funds and mail fraud. The sentence handed down Thursday by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier was roughly twice that recommended in federal sentencing guidelines.
Young also must pay $963,900 in restitution to the Small Business Administration.
Prosecutors said money meant for the Bible Way Baptist Church was used for Young’s personal expenses, including jewelry, vehicles and clothes.
Young submitted fraudulent invoices and receipts to the SBA after the 2005 storm. The church property was vacant with overgrown weeds when the SBA checked to see how he spent the money.
Shepherdsville KY July 8 2012 Police have arrested the youth director of Trinity Life Center and charged him with multiple counts of sodomy and sexual abuse of a boy who attended the church.
Bryan J. Dockery, 26, was working as youth director for Trinity Life Center in Shepherdsville when police allege that he engaged in a 10-month sexual relationship with a juvenile church member.
Dockery was released from the Bullitt County Detention Center on Thursday after posting a $25,000 property bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for July 16.
Sgt. Mike O’Donnell, spokesman for Shepherdsville Police, said the crimes allegedly took place from August 2011 to June 2012 at the church, 964 Ky. 44 West, and at Dockery’s house off Cedar Grove Road.
A woman who answered the phone at the church Friday said its head pastor, the Rev. James McFadden, would “not be commenting on the situation.”
Police continue to investigate and detectives are trying to determine if there may be more victims.
Anyone with information concerning this or any other crime, is asked to contact the Shepherdsville Police Department at (502) 957-1001, (502) 921-1000, or its anonymous tip line at (502) 215-1588.