Video shows panic in church packed with kids after teen armed with rifle tries to storm service

A First Communion service in Louisiana erupted in panic when a 16-year-old armed with a rifle tried to storm the church by means of a again door.

But parishioners noticed the teen and swarmed him — holding him outdoors till police arrived and arrested him.

The terrifying scene unfolded at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Abbeville — which was full of oldsters with younger youngsters who have been there for the ceremony of passage in the church.

The incident was streamed live on the church’s web site Saturday morning as Fr. Nicholas G. Dupré led the trustworthy in prayer from the altar.

In the dramatic video, parishioners seated at pews towards the entrance of the church might be seen nervously glancing behind them because the commotion started about 48 minutes into the service.

A church altar with 2 priests and a man in a suit whispering into one of their ears.
Fr. Nicholas G. Dupré was main the congregation in prayer when the commotion started from the again of the church. St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church

Seconds later, an unidentified man sporting a swimsuit approaches Dupré mid-sentence and whispers one thing in his ear, at which level he calmly asks the room to be part of him in reciting the Hail Mary.

The scene grew louder and extra chaotic because the prayer echoed by means of the crowded chamber, punctuated by screams from a number of the roughly 60 youngsters there to obtain their First Communion.

Amid the uproar, altar boys nervously stepped into view from the elevated sanctuary behind the priest to gawk on the disruption because the clergy knelt behind the communion desk — seem to take cowl.

At least two armed officers might be seen in the footage — together with one with a rifle — as they swept the church for added threats. Parishioners started scooping up their youngsters and vacating the church as an unidentified man’s voice came visiting the loudspeaker urging dad and mom to “just get a hold of your child” and slowly exit the constructing.

Clergy kneeling behind a communion table as an officer armed with an automatic rifle walks by.
Congregants of St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Abbeville instantly confronted the armed teen and escorted him out of the constructing till police arrived and arrested him. St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church

“We did apprehend a young man, he is in custody, he is in police custody, calm down and just get next to your child and go slowly,” the speaker implored the gang because the church was evacuated.

The suspect, solely recognized by police as a 16-year-old white male, was interviewed by officers and transported to Abbeville General Hospital Behavioral Unit for medical analysis, Abbeville Police Chief Mike Hardy wrote in a press release on Facebook.

“The person was confronted by parishioners and escorted outside. Upon arrival, Officers arrested the suspect and placed him in custody. Officers with the Abbeville Police Department and Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office made a sweep through the church to ensure there was no additional threat and confirmed that no one was injured.”

Exterior of St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Abbeville, Louisiana.
Nobody was injured in the incident, and police arrested the 16-year-old and charged him with terrorizing and two counts of possession of a firearm by a juvenile, police mentioned. Google Maps

The teen is being charged with terrorizing and two counts of possession of a firearm by a juvenile, police mentioned Sunday.

“First Communion was proceeding as normal and then police came in with their guns drawn,” Liz Touchet, who was attending the Mass, informed native outlet KADN.

“People started running to get their kids and we were told to get down.”

In its personal assertion, the church mentioned the incident “understandably caused panic” and expressed gratitude in direction of each law enforcement officials and parishioners for “acting quickly to ensure the safety of all.”

They additionally invited all First Communicants to return for his or her First Holy Communion on the Mass of their selection over the weekend.

Abbeville is a small group of round 11,000 residents situated in the south of the state roughly 150 miles west of New Orleans.

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