Phoenix mayor: Priest’s killing ‘strikes at our core’

| June 12, 2014

PHOENIX (CBS5) –  The Rev. Kenneth Walker was a simple man, but one who served his Catholic parish in downtown Phoenix faithfully in the two years since he was ordained.

But his service to the congregations of Mother of Mercy Mission Catholic Church was cut short when he was gunned down in the church during an attack that also left another priest hospitalized in serious but stable condition.

Police said Walker, 28, and the Rev. Joseph Terra, were victims of what was initially reported as an attempted robbery at the Mother of Mercy Mission Catholic Church at 16th Avenue and Monroe.

Police said Terra was able to call 911 shortly after 9 p.m. The 56-year-old was in extremely critical condition with unknown injuries, said Phoenix police Sgt. Steve Martos.

Police chief Daniel Garcia said investigators have strong physical evidence but that they lack eyewitness information and had no suspects in custody.

"We need the community to step forward," Garcia said during a news conference Thursday morning at police headquarters in which he termed the crimes "very tragic and appalling."

Garcia said few other details would be released because it was so early in the investigation, but that Phoenix police will "exhaust resources" to bring to justice the individual or individuals involved.

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Category: Church Security

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