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HomeNewsLouisiana Churchgoers Stop Teen With a Rifle From Entering Church With Children

Louisiana Churchgoers Stop Teen With a Rifle From Entering Church With Children

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A picture of the Louisiana church
Source: CNN/X

One of the major plagues in the United States in recent years has been the issue of gun violence. According to reports, nearly 100 fatalities and injuries in the US were attributed to gun violence in 2022.

Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC”) reported nearly 34,000 deaths by firearm. The agency also noted that most of the gun-related deaths were suicides.

Thanks to some parishioners, a Louisiana church and its members would have been reduced to mere statistics. According to police reports, on Saturday, May 11, churchgoers stopped a teenager with a rifle from gaining entry into the church while they were live-streaming. 

While recounting the experience, authorities revealed that they responded to St. Mary Magdalen in Abbeville and found the 16-year-old suspect after stopping. Noting that the incident could have ended in a tragedy, officials said over sixty children were in the church building.

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The authorities also said the children were in the church waiting to receive their first communion. Fortunately, upon seeing the teenager, churchgoers confronted him, denying him entry into the church until the police arrived. 

A circulating video of the incident shows an unidentified man walking to the Louisiana church’s pastor, Father Nicholas DuPre, to tell him about the ongoing crisis outside. Upon hearing about the shooter, DuPre stopped the service midway, telling the congregation to join him in prayer. However, the parishioners started to panic.

Everyone ran for cover after the news became public, and police appeared, walking around the scene. “Guys, just get a hold of your children, go slowly,” someone yelled in the viral clip.

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After authorities arrested the young boy, Abbeville police chief Mike Hardy spoke about the averted disaster on Facebook. Hardy commended the parishioners for confronting and stopping the 16-year-old. 

Furthermore, the police chief thanked the church for helping the police capture the boy. Notably, after authorities responded to the scene, they took the boy into custody. Afterward, Hardy noted that officials did a thorough sweep of the church to see if there were no threats in the building. However, they found nothing.

After the failed attempted gun violence, officials charged the teenage suspect with terrorizing the church community. Furthermore, the suspect faces two counts of possession. According to Hardy, the officials questioned the boy and his parent before sending them for a behavioral unit interview.

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While briefing the press, Hardy once again praised the bravery of the parishioners who maintained calm despite the dangerous situation. As the investigation into the incident begins, Hardy reveals that the FBI will join the Abbeville police department in investigating the matter. Sources revealed that the church resumed its communion service after the shakeup died.

Following the scary incident, the Louisiana church announced plans to have law enforcement officers around during its masses. As stated earlier, gun violence among teens has skyrocketed over the years. However, a recent case of the parents of a Michigan school shooter set precedence for cases involving gun violence.

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