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Heroic Parishioners Thwart Armed Teen at Louisiana Church

Just outside of Lafayette, Louisiana, a 16-year-old was arrested by local police after attempting to enter a Catholic Church armed with a rifle. The incident took place at the Saint Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Abbeville, where parishioners and members of the congregation stopped the armed teenager from causing harm while the church was preparing for a First Communion ceremony with about 60 children inside.

The church staff and congregants swiftly reacted after a “suspicious person” opened a back door with a rifle in hand. Father Nicholas Dupre calmly responded to the situation, asking those present to remain seated while he led a prayer. The incident was caught on video by the church’s live broadcast of its Saturday morning Mass. The teenager was swiftly escorted outside by parishioners and taken into custody by the police.

In light of the near-tragedy, the church expressed gratitude towards the police and congregants for their quick action and announced plans to have uniformed law enforcement present at all upcoming Masses. The teenager was charged with one count of terrorizing and two counts of possession of a firearm by a juvenile. The church also stated that all additional services for the foreseeable future would be held with armed security as a precaution.

This incident comes on the heels of a similar event in a Pennsylvania church, where a man attempted to shoot a pastor during a sermon. The pastor was unharmed after the gun jammed, and the perpetrator was swiftly apprehended.

The local police have launched an investigation, and the FBI is participating in the ongoing inquiry. As a result of these incidents, the church is making plans for enhanced security measures to ensure the safety of their congregation during future services.

As the nation continues to grapple with such unsettling occurrences, it is a stark reminder of the need for vigilance and preparation when it comes to protecting places of worship and those who gather inside.

Written by Staff Reports

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