Woman stabbed outside Phoenix church calls priest a hero

| May 13, 2010

PHOENIX – Annie Conway is recovering at her Phoenix home, thankful to have survived a terrifying attack outside the church where she works.

Conway said she was unlocking the gates at Sacred Heart Church, near 12th Street and Buckeye Road, when a stranger approached and stabbed her multiple times.

She said she was stabbed in her arm, upper chest, stomach and shoulder.

Last week's attack came to an end when the church's priest, Father Tim Conlon, came to help Conway.

"It was obvious he was after me and so Father [Conlon] opened the gate and then threw me to the ground and shielded me so he [the suspect] wouldn't stab me more," recalled Conway.

Investigators said Conlon was also stabbed multiple times.

He was released from the hospital over the weekend.

"The Lord was watching over us and taking care of us so we weren't hurt worse than we were hurt," said Conway.

Officers arrested Miguel Manriquez in connection with the stabbings.

Investigators say Manriquez demanded his baptismal records while stabbing his victims.

Manriquez then allegedly walked down the street to a nearby restaurant with the knife in hand.

Witnesses followed him until police arrived and took him into custody.

For the first time since the crime, parishioners gathered to worship at Sacred Heart Church on Sunday.

Three security guards greeted parishioners, an increase over a typical Sunday.

"There's more security," noticed parishioner Janet Lopez.

"This is God's house," said Patrica Villa, one of many parishioners who gathered at the church the day of the stabbings. "This stuff shouldn't happen."

Parishioners say Conlon was stabbed in the back and leg, requiring surgery.



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Category: Church Security