Man Stabbed During Church Services

| October 20, 2010

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque police said they arrested a man after he stabbed somebody during a church service on Sunday.

Jerome Johnson, 46, has been a member of The Church in northwest Albuquerque for awhile. Parishioners said he is mentally disturbed and just got out of jail.

Just outside of the sanctuary, Johnson stabbed William Santos, 47, police said. Right after the stabbing, parishioners said he fled to a nearby park.

“Just as we walked in, [Santos] is the one that did the stabbing, had just attacked the other party,” witness Genica Lee said.

When they caught up with him at the park, police said Santos had the pocket knife that was used to stab Santos.

The two men have had previous problems, according to police. Santos is recovering at University of New Mexico Hospital and is expected to be OK.

Johnson is in police custody and is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Parishioner Maria Martinez said she’s not surprised by the violent outburst.

“It's not surprising. All churches should be taking in people who are mentally disturbed, murderers, or stealers or whatever they might be,” Martinez said.

Still, police said stabbings rarely ever occur in churches.

“It doesn't happen very often. This is the first time in my 16 years that it's happened,” Sgt. Lance Hoisington said.

 

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